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Anthropology of the Fetus

Biology, Culture, and Society

Edited by Sallie Han, Tracy K. Betsinger, and Amy B. Scott
Foreword by Rayna Rapp

272 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-691-1 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (October 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-692-8 eBook Not Yet Published

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“This is an outstanding collection of articles, all based on original research, giving the volume a fresh feel.” · Eugenia Georges, Rice University

As a biological, cultural, and social entity, the human fetus is a multifaceted subject which calls for equally diverse perspectives to fully understand. Anthropology of the Fetus seeks to achieve this by bringing together specialists in biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Contributors draw on research in prehistoric, historic, and contemporary sites in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America to explore the biological and cultural phenomenon of the fetus, raising methodological and theoretical concerns with the ultimate goal of developing a holistic anthropology of the fetus.

Sallie Han is Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY College at Oneonta, and chair of the Council on Anthropology and Reproduction. She is the author of Pregnancy in Practice: Expectation and Experience in the Contemporary US (Berghahn Books, 2013).

Tracy K. Betsinger is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Oneonta. She conducts bioarchaeological research on medieval/post-medieval Polish populations and prehistoric populations from the Southeastern United States.

Amy B. Scott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada. Her research interests include biochemical analyses of health and stress, skeletal growth and development, and mortuary burial patterns in the context of medieval and post-medieval Europe and 18th century Atlantic Canada.

Series: Volume 38, Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives
Subject: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies General Cultural Studies

BISAC: HEA041000 HEALTH & FITNESS/Pregnancy & Childbirth; SCI075000 SCIENCE/Philosophy & Social Aspects; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural

BIC: VFXB Pregnancy, birth & baby care; PSXM Medical anthropology


List of Figures and Tables

Forward: How/Shall We Consider the Fetus?
Rayna Rapp


Chapter 1. Conceiving the Anthropology of the Fetus: An Introduction
Sallie Han, Tracy K. Betsinger, and Amy B. Scott

Chapter 2. The Borderless Fetus: Temporal Complexity of the Lived Fetal Experience
Julienne Rutherford

Chapter 3. The Biology of the Fetal Period: Interpreting Life from Fetal Remains
Kathleen Ann Satterlee Blake

Chapter 4. Pregnant with Ideas: Concepts of the Fetus in the 21st Century United States
Sallie Han


Chapter 5. The Bioarchaeology of Fetuses
Sian E. Halcrow, Nancy Tayles, and Gail E. Elliott

Chapter 6. Fetal Paleopathology: An Impossible Discipline?
Mary E. Lewis

Chapter 7. The Neolithic Infant Cemetery at Gebel Ramlah in Egypt’s Western Desert
Jacek Kabaciński, Agnieszka Czekaj-Zastawny, and Joel D. Irish

Chapter 8. Excavating Identity: Burial Context and Fetal Identity in Post-Medieval Poland
Amy B. Scott and Tracy K. Betsinger


Chapter 9. Waiting: The Redemption of Frozen Embryos through Embryo Adoption and Stem Cell Research in the United States
Risa D. Cromer

Chapter 10. Deploying the Fetus: Constructing Pregnancy and Abortion in Morocco
Jessica Marie Newman

Chapter 11. Beyond Life Itself: The Embedded Fetuses of Russian Orthodox Anti-Abortion Activism
Sonja Luehrmann

Chapter 12. The “Sound” of Life: Or How Should We Hear a Fetal “Voice”?
Rebecca Howes-Mischel

Tracy K. Betsinger, Amy B. Scott, and Sallie Han


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