vol 23 - 1997

Fetuses currently occupy a very busy intersection in the cultural and political life of the United States. How do the diverse pregnant women who carry fetuses understand these intersections? How do the researchers who ask about those understandings frame their own work? How "American" are our fetuses; that is, are fetuses situated in similarly complicated ways in other places? What are the contexts within which fetuses are discussed (or not discussed) in other societies? How and/or can an analysis of the social construction of fetuses be useful to feminist theory and practice? These are some of the questions addressed by this issue of Feminist Studies.

We begin with Monica J. Casper's discussion of her experiences researching the experimental and therapeutic practices of a group of Bay-area physicians who refer to themselves as "fetal invaders." Casper delineates the political and methodological dilemmas she faced in examining fetuses as "work objects," located in an intersection of "Feminist Politics and Fetal Surgery." The personification of the fatally ill fetuses upon which the physicians operate is here in tension with their objectification as devices of intervention and experimental passion. Increasingly seen and seeing themselves as heroic rescuers of ambiguous borderline entities, many of the physicians involved with fetal surgery describe their own practices in a language of paternalism.


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Monica J. Casper           
Feminist Politics and Fetal Surgery:
Adventures of a Research Cowgirl on the Reproductive Frontier

Ana Teresa Ortiz         
"Bare-Handed" Medicine and Its Elusive Patients:
The Unstable Construction of Pregnant Women and Fetuses
in Dominican Obstetrics Discourse

Linda L. Layne           
Breaking the Silence:
An Agenda for a Feminist Discourse of Pregnancy Loss

Joan Baranow           

Lynn M. Morgan         
Imagining the Unborn in the Ecuadoran Andes

Susan Markens, C.H. Browner, and Nancy Press
Feeding the Fetus:
On Interrogating the Notion of Maternal-Fetal Conflict

Lisa M. Mitchell and Eugenia Georges
Cross-Cultural Cyborgs:
Greek and Canadian Women's Discourses on Fetal Ultrasound

Anne Fausto-Sterling, Patricia Adair Gowaty, and Marlene Zuk
Evolutionary Psychology and Darwinian Feminism (Review Essay)

Mariana Valverde and Loma Weir
Regulating New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies:
A Feminist View of Recent Canadian Government Initiatives

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