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Nov 19

Dr. Katie Gentile and Dr. Michelle Leve – The Business of Being Made

November 19, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Katie Gentile, Ph.D. & Michelle Leve, Ph.D., C.Psych.
The Business of Being Made: The Temporalities of Reproductive Technologies in Psychoanalysis and Culture



The Business of being made and the temporalities of reproducing bodies

Katie Gentile

Situated within a culture marked by a fetishistic relationship to pregnancy and what Donna Haraway has called the “public fetus,” assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have become a normative part of women’s reproductive health care with critical impact on women’s subjectivities. Yet, as these technologies have proliferated, psychoanalysis has remained relatively mute, and certainly uncritical about how they are structured – focusing almost exclusively on the female body – and how they sell hope at any price. This presentation uses interview research conducted by a psychoanalyst with women and men who went through some form of ART. Of particular interest is the creation of a contradictory sense of time that situates women in a liminal state of being “not yet pregnant.” Within this uncertainty, temporal forms of affect regulation emerge for self-preservation, especially for survivors of sexual trauma, for whom ART interventions can be profoundly re-traumatizing.

Understanding (m)otherhood within the context of third party reproduction
Michelle Leve

Throughout the past three decades the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) has been increasing in the global North and South. The United States in particular has seen growing use of third-party eggs for pregnancy. While much scholarship has debated whether ARTs like egg ‘donation’ are oppressive or liberatory, subvert or reinforce biogenetic notions of motherhood, and/or perpetuate ‘motherhood mandates,’ very little research has explored the experiences of egg ‘donors.’ This presentation draws on interviews with women who provided eggs to others for pregnancy to explore how these women negotiate, disrupt, and reinforce prevalent discourses of motherhood. The implications of these findings are discussed as they relate to our understanding of motherhood and women’s bodies, as well as clinical practice.


Katie Gentile, Ph.D. is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Gender Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York). She is the author of Creating bodies: Eating disorders as self-destructive survival and The Business of being made: The temporalities of reproductive technologies, in psychoanalysis and cultures, both from Routledge. She the editor of the Routledge book series Genders & Sexualities in Minds & Culture and a co-editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on eating disorders, sexual and racial/cultural violence, intimate partner violence, participatory action research, and the cultural and psychic production of temporalities around reproduction and fetal personhood. She is on the faculty of New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and in private practice in New York City.

Michelle Leve, Ph.D. C.Psych., is a psychologist in private practice at The Clinic on Dupont in Toronto. She received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City, from which she also earned her Master’s degree in General Psychology. Dr. Leve specializes in helping women and men who are navigating issues related to infertility, reproductive technologies, and family building. She has conducted research on third-party reproduction at Weill Cornell’s Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York City. Her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

To purchase the book: The Business of Being Made: The Temporalities of Reproductive Technologies CLICK HERE


TICP Members/Guests: $25.00

Regular: $50.00


November 19, 2016
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Trinity College, U of T, Combination Room
15 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1K7 Canada
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