Rm. UC 179, University College, 15 King'
  • February 13, 2014 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM – Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Rm. UC 179, University College, 15 King's College Circle
Environment & Health Seminar

MICHELLE MURPHY, Professor, Department of History & Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

ABSTRACT:This talk pushes back on the sexist and heterosexist norms that tend to frame the research and public debates about reproductive toxins. Such norms can imply that intersex and queer bodies are unvalued and even monstrous. In the Great Lakes area, most research on the effects of reproductive toxins locally has been done by ecologists concerned with alterations to fish, birds, and reptiles. This paper critically examines the discourses of feminization, disappearing males, sexual norms, and intersexuality in scientific and media representations of the effects of reproductive toxins in the Great Lakes and beyond. The talk seeks to reframe discussions of reproductive toxins as concerns over "chemical infrastructures" and inter-generational violence. The talk offers alternate ways of politicizing the circulation and effects of industrially produced chemicals and valuing altered life.

BRIEF BIO:Michelle Murphy is Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto and co-organizer of the Technoscience Salon. A feminist science studies scholar and historian of the recent past, her work focuses on environmental politics, race and sex, reproduction, biopolitics, and economic rationalities through transnational and postcolonial analytics. She is the author of Sick Building Syndrome and the Politics of Uncertainty (Duke UP 2006) and Seizing the Means of Reproduction: Entanglements of Health, Feminism and Technoscience (Duke UP 2012). Her current book project, The Economization of Life, tracks the entanglements between the governing of economy and reproduction in Cold War and postcolonial itineraries. In this project and other work, she is interested in theorizing an extensive sense of distributed reproduction. For more on her work, visit technopolitics.wordpress.com.