Wenner-Gren Workshop – “Arab Masculinities: Anthropological Reconceptions”

Wenner-Gren Workshop  – “Arab Masculinities: Anthropological Reconceptions”
Convenors: Konstantina Isidoros, Soraya Tremayne, Marcia C. Inhorn, Neffisa Naguib
9.30am-5pm, 22nd March 2017, Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford

Sponsors: Wenner-Gren Foundation and the University of Oxford (Middle East Center, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and International Gender Studies Center).

 
More information on our website: arabmasculinities.wixsite.com/arabmasculinities

Geopolitical events such as the 2011 Arab Spring and current European ‘migrant [refugee] crisis’ have amplified dominant portrayals of ‘traditional’ Arab men from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as dangerous Muslim ‘others’. These essentialist discourses and monolithic stereotypes persist from the Orientalist legacy of veiled and disempowered ‘Arab/Muslim women’ and patriarchal ‘Arab/Muslim men’ who perpetrate war, brutality, radicalization and misogyny. Such dehumanizing caricatures render illegible the social realities of gender relations and how the lives of Arab men and women intersect. We believe this is a crucial historical moment to critically engage with these dominant discourses—and to reconceive them—based on cutting-edge scholarship on Arab masculinities being conducted by a new generation of anthropologists.
 
This workshop brings together 20 scholars pioneering a ‘new wave’ of ethnographic research that is innovatively disrupting the dominant discourses and conventional approaches to gender in the Arab/Muslim world. Such a shift reflects mounting dissatisfaction with earlier anthropological and feminist work that tended to treat Arab patriarchy as timeless and taken-for-granted, thereby perpetuating hegemonic discourses of Arab manhood. We argue this is both outdated and out of step with much current gender studies research, not only in the MENA region, but in the Western academy more generally. In both cases, ‘crisis of masculinities’ discourses and the need to ‘save’ so-called disempowered Third World women are being vociferously debated. Our workshop presents a vital opportunity to advance a new anthropological field of Arab masculinities studies, in which theoretical frameworks, ethnographic representations and methodological strategies will be reformulated. This vanguard event has a concrete agenda to re-engage MENA feminist anthropology with the anthropology of men. We are launching the new field of Anthropological Reconceptions of Arab Masculinities.


Kind regards,
Dr Konstantina Isidoros
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford

The Hot Topic Of Egg Freezing And What You Should Know (Huffington Post)

Until recently, eggs were most often frozen for later use for medical reasons. A woman with cancer could opt to preserve her eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation that could permanently damage or destroy her eggs. Freezing for medical reasons has been possible for three decades. Over the last decade, improvement in cryopreservation technology, namely ultra-rapid freezing by vitrification, resulted in higher pregnancy rates and the offering of egg freezing to non-cancer patients.

The 2012 announcement by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that egg freezing was no longer experimental led many fertility clinics to market these services to women concerned about declining fertility — rather than a specific medical reason — leading to the practice being described as “social” egg freezing.

  read more…

The Search for Low-Cost Solutions to Infertility

Ten percent of women experience infertility, but policymakers and health bodies don’t see it as a priority. Some experts say the inability to have children should be considered a human rights issue, and are looking for ways to get treatment to everyone who needs it.

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 14, 2013, an embryologist works on a petri dish at the Create Health fertility clinic in south London. Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has become a sophisticated process with pricey incubators, specialized techniques and extensive screening. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method intended mainly for use in developing countries. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 14, 2013, an embryologist works on a petri dish at the Create Health fertility clinic in south London. Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has become a sophisticated process with pricey incubators, specialized techniques and extensive screening. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method intended mainly for use in developing countries. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

read more…

The MacMillan Report | Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai

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Marica Inhorn, William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, talks about Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai.

A specialist on Middle Eastern gender, religion, and health, Professor 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.

Click in and learn!

The MacMillan Report is an online interview show featuring the research of faculty in international and area studies.

Should You Travel Abroad for IVF?

By Anna Medaris Miller

Other countries offer more affordable care in appealing destinations, but couples should proceed with caution.

Sonogram and syringe.

Tens of thousands of U.S. residents are projected to have traveled overseas for reproductive health care this year.

For three years, Danielle Camarena’s Internet search history looked like this: Why can’t I get pregnant? Who can help me get pregnant? How can I change my diet to boost fertility? Is my laundry detergent preventing pregnancy?

She never got to the questions about parenting.

“We thought [pregnancy] would happen right away, but it sure did not,” says Camarena, a 32-year-old technical writer in Covina, California.

So she and her husband got help. First, they tried intrauterine insemination – a fertility treatment that involves inserting the man’s sperm directly into the woman’s uterus. No luck. Then they tried it again. And again. And again. They moved on.
read more…

The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East

by BANAFSHEH MADANINEJAD

 

Winner of the 2015 American Anthropological Association’s Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology and the 2014 JMEWS Book Award of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2015) by Marcia C. Inhorn challenges the Western stereotypical image of the Arab man as terrorist, religious zealot, and brutal oppressor of women. Through stories of ordinary Middle Eastern men as they struggle to overcome infertility and childlessness through assisted reproduction, Inhorn draws on two decades of ethnographic research across the Middle East with hundreds of men from a variety of social and religious backgrounds to show how the new Arab man is self-consciously rethinking the patriarchal masculinity of his forefathers and unseating received wisdoms. This is especially true in childless Middle Eastern marriages where, contrary to popular belief, infertility is more common among men than women. Inhorn captures the marital, moral, and material commitments of couples undergoing assisted reproduction, revealing how new technologies are transforming their lives and religious sensibilities.

Q&A with Marcia Inhorn: IVF sojourners in Dubai

By Mike Cummings

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Millions of people visit Dubai each year on business and for pleasure. While Dubai has emerged as a global hub city for commerce and tourism, it also is becoming an international center for medical care, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).  People who cannot access safe, affordable, or effective IVF services in their home countries travel to Dubai by the thousands on a desperate quest to conceive.

Marcia C. Inhorn, the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, describes the experiences of reproductive travelers in her latest book, “Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai.”

The book features the voices of people Inhorn interviewed who had traveled to Dubai at great expense to seek IVF treatment. The stories of these “reprotravelers” provide insight into the frustration, pain, fear, and financial burden shouldered by those who are compelled to travel across borders for IVF services.

Inhorn recently spoke to YaleNews about her research.
read more…

The Iranian (IVF) Revolution

Do you know about the Iranian IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Revolution?

Marcia Inhorn (pictured) does … because she was alive to see it, and has studied it since in detail.

A medical anthropologist at Yale University, she witnessed a massive shift in the Middle East — and specifically Iran — as Ayatollah Khomeini embraced the reproductive technology in the 1990s. He proclaimed that IVF was fine for Muslim couples and he even allowed donor egg and donor sperm to be used.  Thus, Iran has become a hub for so-called ‘reproductive tourism’ in the Muslim world.

Sound a little complicated? It was, and still is. But it stirred something deep and pressing within her nonetheless.

 

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