Biological Relatives: An Interview

Sarah Franklin’s new book is an exceptionally rich, focused yet wide-ranging, insightful account of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the worlds that it creates and inhabits. Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship (Duke University Press, 2013) treats IVF as a looking-glass in which can see not only ourselves, but also transformations in modern notions of biology, technology, and kinship. In addition to a fascinating ethnography of the various kinds of work (by artists, by scientists, by patients and doctors) at IVF and stem cell research facilities, readers will find insightful explorations of the work of Marx and Engels, Haraway, Plato, Strathern, Derrida, Firestone, along with a wide range of authors of feminist texts from the 1980s and after. It is a book full of hands, socks, pipettes, eggs, screens, organisms, and arguments, it is fascinating, we talked about it for the New Books in STS podcast, and you can listen to our conversation here.