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When Women Birthed Mooncalves and Moles: The Display of Fetal Remains and the Invisibility of Females in Museums

Porth, Emily (2012) When Women Birthed Mooncalves and Moles: The Display of Fetal Remains and the Invisibility of Females in Museums Humanimalia: a journal of human/animal interface studies, 4 (1).

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Abstract

"In this paper I argue that narrating the embryological origin story through traditional scientific display techniques has the potential to reinforce the systemic marginalization and devaluation of females of all species. When fetal bodies are exhibited without reference to the context of their acquisition, females become the “absent referent” and can essentially be morally abandoned as “incubators.” The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the displays of bodies in scientific institutions that are presented, and perceived by most of people who visit them, as “objective” and “value-neutral.” Fetal remains occupy a sensitive space for some people because of their visual association with contemporary debates about whether or not a woman should be able to choose to terminate a pregnancy and, regardless of politics, the fetal remains at the Hunterian Museum are visually arresting bodies that attract a lot of attention from visitors."

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Porth, Emilye.porth@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 2012
Additional Information : This article was first published in Humanimalia http://www.depauw.edu/humanimalia/ . Humanimalia is a peer-reviewed, online journal, published twice a year at DePauw University.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 09 Mar 2016 12:46
Last Modified : 12 Mar 2018 10:11
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/809917

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