Department of Gender and Cultural Studies seminar series 3 May – School of Humanities Department of Gender and Cultural Studies seminar series 3 May – School of Humanities

Department of Gender and Cultural Studies seminar series 3 May

Celia Roberts  (Discussants: Sonja van Wichelen)

Tracking fertility, biosensing hormones: what is at stake for bodies, sexualities and sex/gender?

Celia Roberts

Fertility- and hormonal- biosensing are becoming increasingly widespread across the global North. Multiple devices and apps, and their associated platforms, are used to track menstruation and ovulation, to measure sperm count, and to monitor hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menopause and gender transition. The relevant platforms collect and collate data from millions of devices, producing, in some cases, very large, and valuable, data sets about particular bodily events. Self-tracking and biosensing practices are arguably changing the way users – and non-users – experience their bodies, their sexualities and their sex/gender. Whilst these practices may increase self-knowledge, do they typically challenge conventional biomedical scientific knowledge or practices? How are practices of self-tracking entangled with the politics of platformisation? And what might a feminist approach to self-tracking and biosensing look like?

Celia Roberts is Professor in the School of Sociology, ANU, working in the area of Feminist Technoscience Studies. Her research focuses on biomedicine, sexuality, sexual development, reproduction and sex/gender, and often involves empirical studies of digital and other health and care-related technologies. She is author of Puberty in Crisis: The sociology of early sexual development (CUP, 2016) and Messengers of Sex: Hormones, biomedicine and feminism (CUP, 2007) and co-author of Born and Made: An ethnography of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (Princeton, 2006). This talk is based on a forthcoming co-authored book on health biosensing.


The Department of Gender and Cultural Studies hosts a lively departmental research seminar series. Participants include staff, associates and postgraduate students from the department, as well as presenters from other University of Sydney departments and from outside, both nationally and internationally.

Please join us after the seminar for drinks at the Holme Courtyard Bar

Everyone is welcome to attend.

2019 Seminar Series convenors:
Thom van Dooren and Elsepth Probyn
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May 03 2019


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


This event is free


Education Lecture Room 424
Education Building, Manning Road


Gender and Cultural Studies
+61 2 9351 2759

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