Ellen Feder: "Disturbing Bodies: Envy in the Medical Management of Intersex"
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 3:30pm

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.