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, where she serves as Chair of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale. A specialist on Middle Eastern gender and health issues, 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 35 years.
Dr. Inhorn is the author of six books on the subject, including America’s Arab Refugees: Vulnerability and Health on the Margins (Stanford U Press, 2018), Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai (Duke U Press, 2015), The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East (Princeton U Press, 2012), Local Babies, Global Science: Gender, Religion, and In Vitro Fertilization in Egypt (Routledge, 2003), Infertility and Patriarchy: The Cultural Politics of Gender and Family Life in Egypt (U Pennsylvania Press, 1996), and Quest for Conception: Gender, Infertility, and Egyptian Medical Traditions (U Pennsylvania Press, 1994). These books have won the AAA’s Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, the JMEWS Book Award, the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Eileen Basker Prize, and the AAA’s Diana Forsythe Prize for outstanding feminist anthropological research in the areas of gender, health, science, technology, and biomedicine. She is also the editor or co-editor of thirteen books, including Arab Masculinities: Anthropological Reconceptions (Indiana U Press, 2022), Un-Settling Middle Eastern Refugees: Regimes of Exclusion and Inclusion in the Middle East, Europe, and North America (Berghan Books, 2021), Waithood: Gender, Education, and Global Delays in Marriage and Childbearing (Berghahn Books, 2021), Reconceiving Muslim Men: Love and Marriage, Family and Care in Precarious Times (Berghahn Books, 2018), Globalized Fatherhood (Berghahn Books, 2014), Medical Anthropology at the Intersections: Histories, Activisms, and Futures (Duke U Press, 2012), Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Sunni and Shia Perspectives (Berghahn Books, 2012), Anthropology and Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society (Oxford U Press, 2009), Reconceiving the Second Sex: Men, Masculinity, and Reproduction (Berghahn Books, 2009), and Infertility around the Globe: New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies (U California Press, 2002). She is also co-editor of the Berghahn Book series on “Fertility, Reproduction, and Sexuality,” associate editor of Global Public Health, former co-editor-in-chief of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online, and founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS) of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS).
Inhorn’s newest book, Motherhood on Ice: The Mating Gap and Why Women Freeze Their Eggs (NYU Press, 2023), draws upon interviews with more than 150 American women to explore their use of egg freezing as a fertility preservation technology. Their stories show that, contrary to popular belief, egg freezing is rarely about women postponing fertility for the sake of their careers. Rather, the most-educated women are increasingly forced to delay childbearing because they face a mating gap—a lack of eligible, educated, equal partners ready for marriage and parenthood. For these women, egg freezing is a reproductive backstop, a technological attempt to bridge the gap while waiting for the right partner. But it is not an easy choice for most. Their stories reveal why egg freezing is logistically complicated, physically taxing, financially demanding, emotionally draining, and uncertain in its effects. Yet, for many “thirty-something” women, egg freezing offers the future hope of partnership, pregnancy, and parenthood.
Inhorn is married to Kirk R. Hooks, and they have two children, Carl, 27, and Justine, 24. Together, they have lived in Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Australia.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Anthropology, Joint Doctoral Degree Program in Medical Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley (Home Campus) and University of California, San Francisco, CA; Degree Conferred in May 1991
Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Degree Conferred in May 1988
Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology/Medical Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Degree Conferred in May 1985
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Double Major in Anthropology and Journalism, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; Degree Conferred in May 1980, with Honors.
Professor: William K. Lanman Jr., Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs; Department of Anthropology and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, July 2008 – present
Visiting Professor: Anthropology and Health and BioFutures, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, May 2018 – June 2018
Head of Studies: Anthropology, Yale-NUS College, Singapore, August 2017 – May 2018
Visiting Professor: Inaugural Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professor, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Fall 2010
Research Professor: University of Bergen, Norway, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and Center for International Health, June 2006 – 2009
Chair: Council on Middle East Studies (CMES), The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, July 2008-2011 and 2018-present
Director: Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan, 2003-2006
Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online (RBMS), Section Editor, 2014-2018, Co-Editor-in-Chief, 2019 – 2021
JMEWS (Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies), Founding Editor, 2004-6, Indiana University Press and Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, Middle East Studies Association; Editor, Yale CMES, 2010-14
Global Public Health, Associate Editor for Population and Health, Taylor & Francis, 2005-present
Berghahn Books, Co-Editor for “Fertility, Reproduction, and Sexuality” Series, with Soraya Tremayne and Philip Kreager, Oxford University, 2008-present
Board of Directors: Middle East Studies Association, 2010-2012
President: Society for Medical Anthropology, 2005-2007
Note: The calligraphic artwork is by Khaled Al-Saai.