Thinking though eggs, sperm and embryos- diffractive readings at the fertility clinic and sperm bank

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How is it ethnographically possible to grasp creations at a fertility clinic where infertile women or couples seek treatment to have a child? How does materialities such as technologies, gametes and bodies intertwine with notions of kinship, age, race, gender and sexuality? What type of research questions may an analytical starting point in eggs, sperm and embryos, enable me to ask, and what diffractive stories of creation can I tell?
These questions not only intrigue me, because I am deeply fascinated about new creation stories that may be told when assisted reproductive technologies are at use – they interest me, because I am curious about, and struggle with how we may grasp materializations methodologically. Although my claim would be that materiality in feminist theory has been central for much longer than the “new” materialist turn, and that explorations of materiality is deeply rooted in discussions on how bodies are sexed and gendered, and how nature-cultures are intertwined; I will through out this presentation make a call for the need of further development of multiple feminist ethnographic material methodologies.
In this presentation I will discuss the methodological reflections, thoughts, troubles and challenges that I am having while struggling to appropriate situated knowledges (Haraway 1991) and agential realism (Barad 2007) in my ethnographic work on assisted reproduction. Where I earlier have found interest in what creations takes place at fertility clinics, and how new creation stories are told about egg, sperm and embryos (Adrian 2006), my current work has moved to look at negotiations of ethical borders and boundaries in relation to globalization of Danish donor sperm. This move in research questions is not only empirically based. It is also a shift indebted to my methodological interest in how diffractive readings as Barad and Haraway suggest us to do, may be practiced, and how ethnographic partial truths may be used as political interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Nov 2013
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
EventBodily Methodologies - Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 11 Dec 201313 Dec 2013


ConferenceBodily Methodologies
LocationSyddansk Universitet, Odense

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