Rhetoric / Women's Studies / Science & Technology / Health & Medicine

Body Talk
Rhetoric, Technology, Reproduction
Edited by Mary M. Lay, Laura J. Gurak, Clare Gravon, and Cynthia Myntti
Rhetoric of the Human Sciences

The technology of reproduction, and how we talk about it

In recent decades, human reproduction has been transformed in ways never imagined in 1900; new methods of contraception, treatments for fertility and sexual dysfunction, and new diagnostic tools have rapidly become an integral part of our culture and discourse. Body Talk   explores the rhetoric of reproductive technology throughout the twentieth century, examining the ways discourse about these technologies has shaped thinking about reproduction and women's bodies, framed public policy, and empowered or marginalized points of view.

The chapters in Body Talk   delve into such varied topics as the ownership and control of knowledge about birth, societal definitions of normality and pathology, definitions of the self, issues regarding granting rights as citizens to fetuses, the rights of mothers, and views about the relationship between technology and religion.


"Provocative and engaging. These essays bring the insightful means and methodologies of rhetoric to bear on what have become urgent matters for women confronting reproductive problems and solutions, their partners, medical practitioners, and public health officials."—Carol Colatrella, Georgia Institute of Technology

Mary M. Lay is professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and author of The Rhetoric of Midwifery. Laura Gurak is associate professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and author of Persuasion and Privacy in Cyberspace. Clare Gravon is Minneapolis regional field manager for the YWCA, USA. Cynthia Myntti is a consultant anthropologist and lecturer at the American University of Beirut. Both Gravon and Myntti were formerly affiliated with the Center on Women and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


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April 2000
326 pp.          6 x 9
ISBN 0-299-16790-9   Cloth $60.00s
ISBN 0-299-16794-1   Paper $24.95s

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