Ellen Feder: "Disturbing Bodies: Envy in the Medical Management of Intersex"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Reading Room, 2nd Floor, Carriage House/LGBT Center 

3907 Spruce Street

Please join us for the following talk:

“Disturbing Bodies:  Envy in the Medical Management of Intersex”

Ellen K. Feder, Associate Professor of Philosophy, American University

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Abstract of the talk: In her talk, Professor Feder will discuss what she sees as the unexpected role of envy in the medical management of atypical sex anatomies.  She'll begin by providing some background context with the work of psychologist and sexologist John Money whose research in the 1950s-60s provided the foundation of the first medical protocol for managing and treating intersex conditions in infants and young children, especially when the conditions produced “ambiguous” genitalia.  Professor Feder will then turn to a psychoanalytic analysis of envy as she proposes it operates in current management strategies of various intersex conditions.  Her approach is informed by feminist theory, philosophy, and bioethics, as well as by her work with activists, patients, parents, and doctors. 

Ellen K. Feder works at the intersection of contemporary continental philosophy and feminist and critical race theory, particularly as these relate to matters of social policy. Her first book, Family Bonds: Genealogies of Race and Gender (Oxford, 2007) applies Foucault's method to thinking about the intersecting "production" of race and gender, that is, how these categories are intelligible as categories, together with the way they come to make sense of us. Her second book, Making Sense of Intersex: Changing Ethical Perspectives in Biomedicine (forthcoming from Indiana University Press) extends the analysis to contemporary medical management of "intersex" bodies. Dr. Feder's recent work has been published in the Hastings Center Report, GLQ, and The Lancet. Dr. Feder has also participated in a task force charged with making recommendations about the current diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder for the forthcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The talk is open to Penn students, faculty, and staff but seating is limited so please RSVP below.

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Notes about RSVPs: 
We offer an online registration process for seminars, workshops, lectures and conferences where attendance numbers are needed in advance. In these cases, the registration process closes two days prior to each scheduled event. If the signup has closed, it may still be possible to register. Please call the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at (215) 898-8740 to see if spots are still available.

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