Ectogenesis and Mother as Machine

Aristarkhova, Irina
Body & Society

This article addresses the oft-neglected nexus between the mother and the machine, specifically in relation to the notion of ectogenesis (that is, conception, gestation and birth outside the maternal body). After a discussion of the technologies and the discourses of ectogenesis as symptomatic of what I call an ectogenetic desire, I move on to critically consider the work of Smith-Windsor on her own maternal experience with an incubator. This is followed by an evaluation of feminist writings on reproductive technologies, leading to a discussion of why the critical dichotomy between the maternal body and the machine needs to be reevaluated, to develop the possibility of a different ethics of/for the maternal body.