Gender Studies | Graduate Topics in Gender Studies: Gender, Sex and Biotech: Biopolitics Across Borders
G701 | 13819 | Aizura, A


New forms of biotechnology work on changing, healing, cloning or
otherwise regulating bodies—bringing into shape new kinds of power
that work at the level of biological life. This course looks at the
production of gendered, sexual and raced bodies through
biotechnology across national and geographical borders. Building on
the rich tradition of feminist and intersectional analysis of the
exertion of power through biology, we ask the following questions:
How does biotech influence how bodies are racialized, classed, sexed
and gendered? How do global economies of biotech work? What bodies
are deemed capable of being productive, and how? What happens to
bodies deemed “unproductive”?  How do neoliberal ideas about
individual sovereignty and freedom collide with national and global
legal structures that decide on ownership of tissue, blood, bones,
organs and cell lines? We investigate biotech via the concept of
biopolitics—how states organize biological human life at the level
of individual bodies and populations. Reading theory on biopolitics
(Foucault, Esposito, Haraway, Butler etc) we look at some of the
following sites: reproductive biology including cloning and ARTs;
medical tourism; stem cell tourism; transnational HIV treatment; the
legal regulation of experimental biotech; the transnational politics
of abortion; body modification technologies such as gender
reassignment surgery and cosmetic surgery.