Dangerous bodies: hysteric nation-states and rational reproduction in a biomedical age


Submissions are being sought for a proposed panel for the 2006 meeting of the American Anthropological Association (to be held in San Jose, California, November 15-19, 2006). Call for Papers:

"Dangerous bodies: hysteric nation-states and rational reproduction in a biomedical age"

Biomedical interventions into pregnancy have rapidly become an expected part of the reproductive landscape for women in industrialized countries, and increasingly elsewhere as well. In the international health circuit, the provision of reproductive health services constitutes part of nation-states' claims to modernity and morality. Yet, as anthropologists have argued, biomedical definitions of "rationality," compliance, and "risk reduction" with regard to reproductive health practices may be at odds with women's own evaluations of their behavior. This panel examines the critical juncture where biomedico-statistical techniques of encouraging, defining, and enumerating "health" may conflict with, and devalue, women's understanding of their own "moral motherhood" and reproductive wellbeing. We question whether, in these moments, reproductive health care becomes less about the wellbeing of individual women and their fetuses than the reproduction of state and medical "rationality" and "morality" in the international arena.

Please submit proposed 100-word abstracts and 3-5 sentence biography including institutional affiliation to Elise Andaya (elise.andaya [AT] nyu.edu) and Alyshia Galvez (alyshia.galvez [AT] nyu.edu) by Monday, February 27, at 9am (Eastern time). The deadline for SMA invited status is Wednesday, March 1, so a quick turnaround is necessary. Submissions should be in Microsoft Word or in Adobe Acrobat attachments.

Elise Andaya New York University