A lecture by Dr. Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Feminist critiques of biological approaches to kinship have often condemned their determinism–their treatment of biology as fixed genetic blueprint for social organization–and their ignorance of, or dismissal of, familial structures that do not follow heteronormative reproductive imperatives. But a focus on how kinships are socially shaped is not sufficient to address the bodily, material experience that David Eng, in The Feeling of Kinship, insists are part of all kinships. Can bodies be more seriously included in feminist and queer understanding of kinships? Can visceral, felt bonds between people be understood as both biologically and socially enabled? And can biological accounts of bodily, felt relations be reclaimed from heteronormativity? Victoria Pitts-Taylor poses these questions in a discussion based on her recent book, The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics (Duke University Press, 2016). Supported by The Culture, Brain, and Development Program, Ethics and the Common Good Program, and School of Cognitive Science.

Dr. Victoria Pitts-Taylor is professor and chair of Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies, professor of science in society, and professor of sociology at Wesleyan University.

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