Fetal Positions: Individualism, Science, Visuality

Fetal Positions: Individualism, Science, Visuality

by Karen Newman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0804726485

ISBN-13: 9780804726481

Pub. Date: 11/28/1996

Publisher: Stanford University Press

This compelling book uses 103 illustrations to argue that modes of visualizing science have profoundly determined “fetal politics” and the contemporary abortion debates. With its close interplay of visual and verbal texts, it traces both the history of fetal images from the sixteenth century onward (including the classic Life magazine photographs of

Overview

This compelling book uses 103 illustrations to argue that modes of visualizing science have profoundly determined “fetal politics” and the contemporary abortion debates. With its close interplay of visual and verbal texts, it traces both the history of fetal images from the sixteenth century onward (including the classic Life magazine photographs of Lennart Nilsson in 1965) and the consequences of how obstetrical and embryological knowledge was represented over time in Europe—to both specialists and the public—as medical knowledge came to be produced and understood through anatomical observation.

As the abortion debates witness, perhaps no flesh is more overdetermined with cultural meaning than the female reproductive body. Language and rhetoric have had an important role in framing the debates and shaping attitudes: “pro-choice” versus “abortion,” “anti-abortion” rather than “pro-life,” “fetus” rather than “baby” or “unborn child,” “uterus” rather than “womb.” How visual modes of representing obstetrical and embryological information, which have similar consequences in forming both public and professional opinion, shape the politics of the abortion debates has until recently received very little attention.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804726481
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
11/28/1996
Series:
Writing Science Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
157
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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