Cornelia Goethe Centrum

Michal Nahman (University of the West of England): Global Migrant Egg Providers: Reproductive Others in a changing Europe


What do cross-border egg donation practices show us about society and culture more broadly? In a time of heightened tensions around borders, increased racism and contentious gender relations we can see that whilst the opening up of borders for reproduction with technological assistance is on the increase, attention to the ways in which these reflect contemporary political and social shifts is less prevalent. Whilst Franklin (2013) has demonstrated that biology and gender are remade through IVF, others indicate how colonialism and race are reinscribed into culture through new practices of cross border reproduction (Vora 2013, Rudrappa 2015). With notable exceptions (Thompson 2005), little attention has been paid to the detailed socio-technical practices of oocyte extraction and exchange, and the narratives that people weave around their participation in these with a view towards critiquing structures and formations of race, racism and borders. Drawing on my monograph “Extractions” (2013) I look back at how oocyte exchange appeared in 2002 in order to reflect on what it is today, what it shows (monstrare) and the things it warns us about (monere).

Kommentar: Meike Wolf, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Michal Nahman is an anthropologist working at the crossroads of medical and political anthropology. Her work mainly centres on the interweaving of reproduction with national, border, migration and economic concerns from a feminist technoscience studies and anthropological perspective. Her book Extractions: An Ethnography of Reproductive Tourism (Palgrave, 2013) draws on a study of transnational egg donation and IVF between Israel and Romania at the time of the second Palestinian Intifada. Dr. Nahman has also begun to work in visual media, exploring women and men’s experiences of new parenthood in her film: Atomised Mothers: A film about Isolation, “Austerity” and the Politics of Parenthood (2015).

Vortragssprache: Englisch