Current Institutional Affiliation
LSA Collegiate Fellow, Women's and Gender Studies, University of Michigan

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Massachusetts / Amherst
Monitored Reproduction in the Age of Pronatalism: Ethics, Politics, and Informatics in Turkey

Health information technologies (HIT) are increasingly deployed the world over in the systematic collection, storage, and analysis of health related data – with special emphasis on women's reproductive health. Nowhere is this truer than in Turkey, where the Turkish state's pronatalist policies and the global push for health statistics and informatics converge over the last decade, resulting in remarkably advanced high-tech reproductive monitoring. This research probes this process in urban Turkey through a critical analysis of a particularly controversial health surveillance program called GEBLIZ (Pregnancy Monitoring System). By conducting ethnographic research in Istanbul's hospitals and health centers, I will trace the differential introduction, implementation, and implications of GEBLIZ from the perspective of nurses and their patients. Focusing on the material, subjective, and relational worlds of these women, this research examines how politics and technologies of reproduction are predicated upon not only women's bodies and sexualities (biological reproduction) but also care labor and working conditions (social reproduction). In a context where the only means to talk about the rise of information technology is through neoliberal notions of efficiency, accountability, or right to privacy, this research aims to shed light on the emergent forms of inequality, disparity, and precarity entwined in the healthcare system along the axes of gender, class, and ethnicity. Not quite biotechnology, not quite new reproductive technology; health information technologies serve as a fresh and compelling ethnographic window into the everyday manifestations of reproductive governance (Morgan and Roberts 2012) in Turkey as well as the complex ways in which women reify, modify, or subvert these manifestations.