Marcia C. Inhorn, PhD, MPH, is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. A specialist on Middle Eastern gender, religion, and health, Inhorn has conducted research on the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Arab America over the past 30 years. She is the author of five books on the subject, as well as nine edited volumes. Inhorn is the founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS), and co-editor of the Berghahn Book series on “Fertility, Reproduction, and Sexuality.” She has served as president of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA), and director of Middle East centers at both Yale University and University of Michigan. Inhorn has received more than a dozen awards for her books and scholarship, including, most recently, the 2015 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association. Currently, Inhorn is conducting a National Science Foundation-funded research study on oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) for both medical and elective fertility preservation. She is also writing a book on Arab refugee reproductive health.



Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai, Duke University Press, August 2015.

Dubai is an emergent global city and a new medical tourism hub. This book explores the reproductive travel of infertile couples seeking assisted conception in Dubai’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) sector. Conceive, the cosmopolitan clinic featured in this volume, delivers high-quality, patient-centered IVF across national, ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural boundaries to its many incoming travelers. Yet, cosmopolitan clinics such as Conceive are rare within the global landscape of IVF. Reproductive travelers are often fleeing home countries where IVF services are absent, inaccessible, illegal, or harmful. Cosmopolitan Conceptions challenges the term “reproductive tourism” as the appropriate descriptor for IVF-related travel across national and international borders. Instead, “reprotravel”—the term used throughout this book—is usually driven by numerous arenas of constraint, including the absence of IVF clinics in some countries; legal and religious bans on donor eggs, sperm, embryos, and surrogacy; poor-quality IVF services resulting in reproductive harm; and a variety of social and cultural barriers, including lack of medical privacy and patient support. In the new millennium, thousands of infertile couples are traveling from parts of Africa, Asia, Euro-America, and the Middle East to Dubai in desperate quests for conception. As an emerging global “reprohub,” Dubai sits squarely in the center of a “reproscape”—a world of assisted reproduction in motion—characterized by new “reproflows” of actors, technologies, and body parts. The increasing global magnitude of these reproductive mobilities suggests the need for new forms of 21st-century activism. These include prevention of the preventable forms of infertility; development of new pathways to parenthood and support for the infertile; and the provision of safe, low-cost IVF, particularly in the Global South.

Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology

Marcia C. Inhorn is this year’s recipient of the 2015 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, a prize awarded by the American Anthropological Association. As noted by the AAA committee, “The Robert B. Textor and Family Prize was awarded primarily for Inhorn’s book, The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2012). The New Arab Man makes a groundbreaking contribution to the study of masculinity and health by focusing on men’s reproductive health and men’s use of reproductive health technologies within the context of primarily Islamic cultures of the Middle East (and of Middle Eastern men who have immigrated to the United States). Particularly at a time of great global tension in relation to associations between Islam, masculinity, and terrorism, this is a book that is incredibly timely, and that acts to combat gross stereotypes and deeply rooted stigmas that are all-too-frequent in contemporary debates about these issues. Based on long-term, multi-site ethnography of the highest quality, The New Arab Man makes important theoretical contributions in relation to masculinity and men’s experience with reproductive health and assisted reproduction. It develops a major new conceptual framework for the understanding of what Professor Inhorn describes as ‘emergent masculinities.’ In The New Arab Man, Inhorn uses this concept in order to analyze the complex processes of change taking place in the contemporary Islamic world—in the Middle East as elsewhere. The idea of emergent masculinities provides a way of describing all that is new and transformative in men’s embodied personhood, and of illuminating the ways in which dominant social orders are never completely dominant.  Inhorn’s work highlights the ways in which social and cultural systems are always undergoing important processes of change, and the ways in which these changes impact on and transform medical systems and medical practice. A major strength of The New Arab Man is how sensitively it manages to link the issues it is examining in relation to masculinity and assisted reproduction to the broader religious, political and historical context.  Equally important, it never fails to show how and why these contexts matter in the lives of real people. The quality of the ethnographic description makes The New Arab Man a stellar example of medical anthropology’s unique contribution to addressing major medical issues through rigorous cross-cultural analysis and deep humanistic understanding. It is a prime example of ethnographic writing at its best by an anthropologist who is at the top of her game.”