Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explores the histories of experimental genetics and Fordist manufacturing as presented in Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex (2002). Drawing parallels between Henry Ford’s factory and Thomas Hunt Morgan’s laboratory as sites mutually invested in methodologies of incestuous production, Middlesex highlights the scientific outcome of this pursuit of biological standardization: deviation. Grounding the incestuous history of the Stephanides family in the history of genetic variability, Middlesex presents the body as biologically equipped to reject social pressures faced by immigrants like Lefty to reproduce standard American life forms on and off the factory floor. In the novel, incest, and the mutation it begets, enables a body like Cal’s, whose intersexuality engenders a physiological sterility that highlights and resists Fordist attempts to direct the procreative body into the service of a nationalized industrial reproductivity.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9595
Print ISSN
0004-1610
Pages
pp. 1-37
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.