The Material Gene
Gender, Race, and Heredity after the Human Genome Project
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
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I count myself lucky that this book was mostly a labor of love and not just, well, labor. I have many people to thank for that. First, I’d like to thank Carol Stabile for many years of mentoring, support, and friendship. Her work on the intersection of feminism, technology, and political economy proved...
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On January 11, 2008, I lost my good friend Chet Meeks to colon cancer. Chet was, without a doubt, one of the smartest, most talented scholars I’ve had the good fortune to know. I learned a great deal from him over the years. Chet was just thirty-two when his cancer was first diagnosed; he died two years...
1. Ideology and the New Rhetoric of Genomics
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In a 1999 article in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a surgical team describes the case of “A.H.,” a patient who undergoes an eleven-hour operation to remove her breasts, ovaries, and uterus. The surgery also included the reconstruction of breasts using skin and tissue from various parts...
2. Heredity as Ideology: Situating Genomics Historically
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Two years ago I attended a panel discussion on epigenetics, part of the University of Georgia’s “Darwin Days” series of events. I was interested in the panel because epigenetics exemplifies for me the stunning creativity and innovation of modern-day genomics research. Not surprisingly, Lamarckism...
3. Genomics and the Reproductive Body
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In 2008 National Public Radio interviewed Jessica Queller, author of the book Pretty Is What Changes. In the book and the interview, Queller describes the experience of testing positive for a BRCA mutation, one that conferred upon her an 87 percent chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer...
4. Genomics and the Racial Body
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In 2006 the New York Times published an article by Denise Grady titled “Racial Component Is Found in Lethal Breast Cancer.” The article opens with Grady’s summary of research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Young black women with breast...
5. Genomics and the Polluted Body
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In 2002 I attended a conference at Columbia University titled “Human Genetics and Environmental Justice: A Community Dialogue.” Sponsored by the environmental justice organization West Harlem Environmental Action, the conference brought together geneticists, public health specialists, lawyers, and community...
6. Toward a Biosociality without Genes
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This book opened with the case of “A.H.,” a woman for whom a positive BRCA test made it thinkable to remove her breasts, ovaries, and uterus. The previous chapter ended with three vignettes of environmental social movement: civil rights and environmental justice, biomonitoring and chemical pollution...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013