By Susan Merrill Squier
There's a forgotten background to our present debates over reproductive expertise - one interweaving literature and technology, profoundly gendered, full of offerings and struggles. We pay a value after we settle for smooth reproductive expertise as a systematic step forward and not using a earlier. infants in Bottles retrieves a few of that historical past via examining the literary and well known technological know-how writings of Julian Huxley, J.B.S. Haldane, Charlotte Haldane, Aldous Huxley, and Naomi Mitchison - writings that come with representations of reproductive know-how from infants in bottles to surrogate moms. it really is to those photos, fantasies, practices, and narratives of clinical intervention in replica that we needs to glance if we wish to comprehend what acts of ideological building were conducted, and are at the moment being played, within the identify of reproductive know-how. Susan Merrill Squier exhibits how the imaginitive building of reproductive know-how is helping to form our modern practices. Susan Merrill Squier is Julia Gregg Brill Professor in Women's reviews and English on the Pennsylvania country collage, college Park. She is the writer of Virginia Woolf and London: The Sexual Politics of the town, editor of girls Writers and the town: Essays in Feminist Literary feedback, and co-editor of palms and the lady: warfare, Gender, and Literary illustration.
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Extra resources for Babies in bottles: twentieth-century visions of reproductive technology
13 Such allusions are not a necessary part of the pleasures Mutation provides for all readers, of course, but to those familiar with the cultural studies of science, Marsha's gesture of putting her hand over the child's, "with just the thickness of the glass separating them," invokes both biblical creation and interspecies contact: Michelangelo's God touches Adam's hand, and the National Geographic Society's chimpanzee touches the human hand in television specials on nonhuman primates. 14 The gesture both posits and problematizes the boundaries between "man," God, and "beast" in the era of genetic engineering and reproductive technology.
In these texts representing reproductive technology, the Huxleys and Haldanes articulated the ideological and representational forces that helped to shape reproductive technology. In particular, they dramatized the gendered construction of the modern scientific project and the contrasting and complementary representations of reproduction articulated by literature and science in the early twentieth century. By considering how early-twentieth-century fiction and popular science writings negotiated the issues central to the project of achieving human control over reproduction, we can reclaim the origins of this postmodern technology.
Implanting his embryonic son-tobe in a hired surrogate mother, Dr. Frank triggers the development of the embryo's monstrous intellect by prescribing antibiotics for the gestating woman. VJ grows up to bejust like his daddy, but worse. An embryological entrepreneur, VJ produces an entire reproductive technology laboratory, in which fifty-gallon glass tanks gestate not one, but four fetuses. In its specificity, Cook's image of babies in bottles leaves the Sunday Mail graphic in the dust: it almost reads like a "How to" manual of ectogenesis.