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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Banking on DNA: Thinking about Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests in Comparative Contexts

On Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 6 PM, CSWGS is pleased to present a Gray/Wawro Lecture in Gender, Health and Well-being by Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Chair of Anthropology at New York University.  The lecture will take place in Sewall Hall 301 on the Rice University Campus.  Details for the event are below.

While this event is free and open to the public, seating is limited. Email rsvpcswgs@rice.edu to reserve your seat today.

This lecture highlights the hidden ethical burdens carried by the rapid global diffusion of Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests. Reproductive technologies seem to have an endless frontier.  Technologies of fertility regulation and control are now well established in the developing world and proliferate far beyond the contexts where they debuted – Europe, North America, and Australia.  In selective parts of the world these technologies are already generating an “existential gap” between biomedical aspirations and fears increasingly focused on infertile women, men, and fetuses.  This talk illustrates new iterations of this gap, using the case of Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests that are now making their way through the marketplace into the lives of American pregnant women.  What does it mean to launch yet another technology that assumes total reproductive control over fetal disabilities can be achieved?

Rapp headshotRayna Rapp is a feminist medical anthropologist renowned for her work on gender, health, and reproduction.   She is the author of “Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America” (Routledge, 2000).  Rapp also edited the landmark volume “Toward an Anthropology of Women” (Monthly Review Press, 1975), and with her long-time collaborator, Faye Ginsburg, co-edited the award winning “Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction” (University of California Press, 1995).  A Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, she has also been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Institutes for Health.  She currently holds a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The lecture begins at 6:00 PM, followed by a question and answer session.  We hope that you will join us afterwards in the lobby of the Rice Art Gallery for a reception cosponsored by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

Convenient paid parking is available for our off campus guests in the Founders Court Visitors Lot, most accessible from campus entrances 1 and 2 off Main Street. The lot is credit card entry. Additional parking is available in the Central Campus Parking Garage, with shuttle service to Sewall Hall on the Inner Loop bus. A map of the campus is available at rice.edu/maps.