Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos

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9780520260443: Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos
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Icons of Life tells the engrossing and provocative story of an early twentieth-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect thousands of embryos for scientific study. Lynn M. Morgan blends social analysis, sleuthing, and humor to trace the history of specimen collecting. In the process, she illuminates how a hundred-year-old scientific endeavor continues to be felt in today's fraught arena of maternal and fetal politics. Until the embryo collecting project-which she follows from the Johns Hopkins anatomy department, through Baltimore foundling homes, and all the way to China-most people had no idea what human embryos looked like. But by the 1950s, modern citizens saw in embryos an image of ourselves unborn,” and embryology had developed a biologically based story about how we came to be. Morgan explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's medical career. By resurrecting a nearly forgotten scientific project, Morgan sheds light on the roots of a modern origin story and raises the still controversial issue of how we decide what embryos mean.

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"Fascinating! Icons of Life is an account of how we have come to know ourselves as ourselves, both a compelling human origin story and an engaging tale of intellectual curiosity, biological specimens, reproductive politics, and science. Morgan draws skillfully on her ethnographic toolkit to reveal the social context of embryology alongside the cultural and scientific work of crafting objective 'facts of life' from unremarkable flesh."—Monica J. Casper, author of The Making of the Unborn Patient

"How do scientists convert people into things? Lynn Morgan's book takes the reader on a wonderfully eerie tour through the cultural history of a macabre science, that of collecting human embryos. Not only is it an immensely valuable contribution to the anthropology of science, but it represents at the same time an extended hand across the field of anthropology, where the remains of human beings are still commonly passed around tables of undergraduate students—inviting us to reconsider the nature of our own scientific specimens."—Jonathan Marks, author of Why I Am Not A Scientist

About the Author:

Lynn M. Morgan is Mary E. Woolley Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College and is coeditor (with Meredith W. Michaels) of Fetal Subjects, Feminist Positions.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Icons of Life tells the engrossing and provocative story of an early twentieth-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington s project to collect thousands of embryos for scientific study. Lynn M. Morgan blends social analysis, sleuthing, and humor to trace the history of specimen collecting. In the process, she illuminates how a hundred-year-old scientific endeavor continues to be felt in today s fraught arena of maternal and fetal politics. Until the embryo collecting project - which she follows from the Johns Hopkins anatomy department, through Baltimore foundling homes, and all the way to China - most people had no idea what human embryos looked like. But by the 1950s, modern citizens saw in embryos an image of ourselves unborn , and embryology had developed a biologically based story about how we came to be. Morgan explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein s medical career. By resurrecting a nearly forgotten scientific project, Morgan sheds light on the roots of a modern origin story and raises the still controversial issue of how we decide what embryos mean. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780520260443

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Icons of Life tells the engrossing and provocative story of an early twentieth-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington s project to collect thousands of embryos for scientific study. Lynn M. Morgan blends social analysis, sleuthing, and humor to trace the history of specimen collecting. In the process, she illuminates how a hundred-year-old scientific endeavor continues to be felt in today s fraught arena of maternal and fetal politics. Until the embryo collecting project - which she follows from the Johns Hopkins anatomy department, through Baltimore foundling homes, and all the way to China - most people had no idea what human embryos looked like. But by the 1950s, modern citizens saw in embryos an image of ourselves unborn , and embryology had developed a biologically based story about how we came to be. Morgan explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein s medical career. By resurrecting a nearly forgotten scientific project, Morgan sheds light on the roots of a modern origin story and raises the still controversial issue of how we decide what embryos mean. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780520260443

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Book Description University of California Press, 2009. Condition: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. Tells the story of an early 20th-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect embryos for scientific study. This work explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's career. Num Pages: 328 pages, 13 b/w photographs. BIC Classification: JFF; JHM; MBS. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 228 x 154 x 21. Weight in Grams: 452. A Cultural History of Human Embryos. 328 pages, illustrations. Tells the story of an early 20th-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect embryos for scientific study. This work explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's career. Cateogry: (P) Professional & Vocational. BIC Classification: JFF; JHM; MBS. Dimension: 228 x 154 x 21. Weight: 454. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780520260443

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Book Description University of California Press. Condition: New. 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. Tells the story of an early 20th-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect embryos for scientific study. This work explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's career. Num Pages: 328 pages, 13 b/w photographs. BIC Classification: JFF; JHM; MBS. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 228 x 154 x 21. Weight in Grams: 452. A Cultural History of Human Embryos. 328 pages, illustrations. Tells the story of an early 20th-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect embryos for scientific study. This work explains how dead specimens paradoxically became icons of life, how embryos were generated as social artifacts separate from pregnant women, and how a fetus thwarted Gertrude Stein's career. Cateogry: (P) Professional & Vocational. BIC Classification: JFF; JHM; MBS. Dimension: 228 x 154 x 21. Weight: 454. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780520260443

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Not Signed; Icons of Life tells the engrossing and provocative story of an early twentieth-century undertaking, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's project to collect thousands of embryos for scientific study. Lynn M. Morgan blends social analysis, sleuthing, and humor to trace the history of specimen col. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780520260443_rkm

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