The 112th AAA Annual meeting will be held at the Chicago Hilton November 20-24, 2103 in Chicago IL. The 2013 annual meeting theme is Future Publics, Current Engagements.
It is our hope to organize a panel of scholars from across the four fields to consider the possibilities of building publics within anthropology and furthering engagements around the concerns of reproduction. The focus of this panel will be on research in anthropology on fetuses and address the question: What is a fetus?
The work of anthropologists has contributed to an ever more nuanced understanding of fetuses as entities with cultural, social, and biological significance. A central focus of this work has been on what ideas and practices concerning fetuses reveal about the socially ascribed status of persons. Well documented is the variation in how fetuses have become interpreted across cultures and histories. Recent scholarship also examines the role of science, itself a cultural system, in the construction of fetuses and embryos as what Lynn Morgan (2009) described as “asocial biological entities.”
In this panel, we will discuss what a fetus is from the perspectives of archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. In this panel, we will consider the following questions: How has each of the four fields of anthropology conceptualized fetuses, and how might an engagement across the subfields transform our knowledge of them? What might we gain from a four fields anthropology of fetuses – what also are the challenges and limits – and what can we do to build it?
Papers will be written and presented with the goal of communicating from a particular subfield to our colleagues and peers in other subfields. Possible topics for consideration might include abortion, birth control, breastfeeding childbearing, childbirth, fetuses and personhood, gender and health, infertility, masculinity, menopause, menstruation, reproductive technologies, etc., from the perspective of archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, or linguistic anthropology.
Please e-mail an abstract (no more than 250 words), paper title, and keywords, by FEBRUARY 15, 2013. Our hope is to organize the panel for invited status.
Dr. Sallie Han (Sallie.Han(at)oneonta.edu)
Dr. Tracy Betsinger (Tracy.Betsinger(at)oneonta.edu)
Amy B. Scott (amybscott(at)gmail.com)