Janelle Lamoreaux

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Arizona, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9684

Approve Date

October 4, 2018

Project Title

Lamoreaux, Dr. Janelle D., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research and writing on 'Infertile Futures: Epigenetic Environments in a Toxic China' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Preliminary abstract: In the spring of 2013, Chinese news media widely reported a ‘national sperm crisis’: an increasing decline in the quality and quantity of Chinese sperm, potentially leading to increasing rates of male infertility. Entering into these collective anxieties surrounding future infertility, my book shows how epigenetic research on male reproductive health contributes to the substantive reimagining of environmental interaction, and of the environment itself. Through an ethnographic study of scientific practice based primarily in Nanjing, China, my book argues that toxicologists not only study the impact of ‘the Chinese environment’ on male fertility, but also shape how this environment is understood and given form. Infertile Futures: Epigenetic Environments in a Toxic China asks readers to think through the definition, scale and shape of the environment that potentially impacts reproductive health. I argue not only that the epigenetic environment is multiple and multiplying, but also that scales of responsibility for the future of China’s fertility are reimagined through this environmental multiplicity. Infertile Futures shows that epigenetic toxicology has the potential to both reinforce problematically individualized health responsibility along gender and ethnic lines, and to enact the environment in ways that attribute responsibility for reproductive and environmental health to more collective scales in China and beyond.