Seminar: Prof Anne Phillips, "Do we own our own bodies?"

Past Event

14 February 2012, 5:00pm - 6:30pm


This seminar is hosted by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society

Speaker: Professor Anne Phillips, Professor of Political and Gender Theory, London School of Economics

Venue: Seminar Room, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PN

Summary: What, if anything, is wrong with markets in human bodily materials? And how do positions on this question relate to views on whether we own our own bodies? Critics of markets in bodily substances sometimes invoke ideas of property in the body or property in the person as a way of resisting the commodification of bodies and the exploitation of bodily substances by bio-technology companies. In this argument, the wider recognition of our ownership rights in our bodies will better protect the rights of the less powerful. In this seminar, Anne Phillips queries both the case for markets in human bodily material, and the argument that those markets are more effectively resisted when we are recognised as owning our selves.

Biography: Anne Phillips holds a joint appointment in the Gender Institute and Government Department. She is currently Director of the Gender Institute. She is a leading figure in feminist political theory, and has written on issues of equality and difference, democracy and representation, gender and multiculturalism. Her publications include Gender and Culture (2010), Multiculturalism without Culture (2007),Which Equalities Matter? (1999), and The Politics of Presence (1995). She was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of Aalborg in 1999, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2003. In 2008, she received a Special Recognition Award from the Political Studies Association for her contribution to Political Studies. She is currently working on a book on Body Property (forthcoming Princeton University Press).