Medicine and Body Politics


Sat, 03/10/2018 - 1:00pm to Mon, 12/05/2022 - 1:41pm

Location: Social and Behavioral Sciences Tent, UA Mall



UA Assistant Professor of Anthropology Eric Plemons joins Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye to discuss medical approaches to the body and the broader social, political, and ethical issues that stem from surgery. Their expertise includes facial feminization surgeries for trans-women; cancer surgeries for cis, trans, queer, and non-binary individuals with BRCA mutations; and the religious and gendered issues around organ transplantation. This panel is a part of the Tucson Festival of Books. 


Sherine Hamdy is co-author (with Coleman Nye) of "Lissa: A Story of Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution" (illustrated by Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer), a work of ethno-fiction in comics form and the debut book of the University of Toronto Press' ethnoGRAPHIC series, for which she is now the Series Editor. She is also the author of "Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt." Hamdy was a professor of Anthropology and Middle East studies at Brown University for 11 years before joining the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in the fall of 2017. She is the author of a forthcoming young adult graphic novel (illustrated by Myra El-Mir) that tells the coming-of-age story of a Muslim American girl living between New York and Egypt


Coleman Nye is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is co-author (with Sherine Hamdy) of the ethno-graphic novel "Lissa: A Story of Friendship, Medical Promise, and Revolution." Her current book project, "Speculative Science: Gender, Genetics, and the Futures of Life," examines the performative dimensions of breast and ovarian cancer genetics in the contemporary United States. She holds a PhD in theatre and performance studies and an MA in anthropology from Brown University. She teaches and researches on a range of topics related to technoscience, art and culture and has a background in theatre and performance.


Eric Plemons is a medical anthropologist and ethnographer whose research focuses on surgical practice and the production, circulation and application of expert knowledge on gendered bodies. Plemons' first book, "The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans-Medicine," examines facial feminization surgery, which is a series of bone and soft tissue reconstructive surgeries intended to feminize the faces of trans-women. "The Look of a Woman" was awarded the 2017 Ruth Benedict Prize for the year's best single-authored monograph on an LGBTQ theme in anthropology.


Co-sponsored by College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies