Janelle Lamoreaux

About Janelle Lamoreaux

I am a sociocultural anthropologist who focuses on the anthropology of science & technology with an emphasis on reproduction, gender and the environment. My book manuscript in progress, Infertile Futures: Reproducing Chinese Environments, investigates the relationship between reproductive and environmental health in China through an ethnograhpic study of epigenetic research on male infertility. In the book I explore how multiple environments of toxic exposure are brought into being at various scales through the scientific practices of reproductive toxicologists, who both examine and produce the toxic environments of exposure they research. The project explores the connections epigenetic toxicological research makes between economic, industrial and human development, examining the role of toxins in the imagination and materialization of scientific and reproductive futures.

I have two additional related projects. The first is a collaborative research effort around the theme Reproducing the Environment, co-organized with Katharine Dow from University of Cambridge. Following from panels at AAA and RAI conferences, we bring together research on the use of reproductive technologies to mitigate environmental problems, as well as questions about how and why environmental issues are often framed through questions of reproduction and future generations. Following from a workshop on this theme in June 2016 at University of Cambridge, sponsored by the Reproductive Sociology Research Group and the Centre for Research on the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) we will be submitting an edited volume on the topic, which will feature an article version of my paper: Swimming in Poison, Queering Toxicity: Gender Benders in China.

The second research project continues at the intersection of reproductive and environmental health, focusing on the use of reproductive technologies by coral conservation programmes. Coral gametes, like the eggs and sperm of other endangered species, are being frozen in order to preserve the possibility of future resurrection. A study of these practices will address the extent to which problems of the environment and reproduction often transcend formalized political, national and gender boundaries. This is especially true of coral, whose sex exceeds male/female categories and whose territory are dispersed throughout disputed waters such as the South China Sea. I will start this research by conducting fieldwork in London, England this summer, with the goal of eventually doing fieldwork in Taiwan. This project thinks through how "cyroconservation" falls into a long line of reprotech projects that claim to offer bio-technological solutions to complex social and environmental problems. It also expands on questions of how the intentional intertwining of biology and technology has become vital to human and non-human fertility conservation projects. As a part of the initial stages of this research I will be presenting on an Executive Session at the 2017 AAA Meeting in Washington DCs called: How Anthropology Matters in the Anthropocene: Understanding the Cultures and Politics of Climate Change Denial, during which I will present a paper entitled Banking on Denial.

Finally, I have recently completed work on the Routledge Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society which I co-edited with Sahra Gibbon, Barbara Prainsack and Stephen Hillgartner. The Handbook provides an overview of classic and emergent topics in the social studies of genomics. My contributions to the volume include organizing the section Crossing Boundaries - which features Margaret Lock, Amber Benezra, Carrie Friese and others -  and a single-authored chapter, called Gendered Bioeconomies. The Handbook will be published in January of 2018. More information, including a full table of contents, is available here.


Selected Publications

2016 "What if the Environment is a Person? Lineages of Epigenetics in a Toxic China," Cultural Anthropology 31(2): 188-214, https://culanth.org/articles/806-what-if-the-environment-is-a-person-lineages-of

2016 It's Artificial, naturally! Shielding the breast in an era of climate change. Reproductive Sociology Research Group Blog. University of Cambridge. http://www.reprosoc.sociology.cam.ac.uk/blog/shielding-the-breast-in-an-era-of-climate-change

2016 Lust. Money. Impotence: A Review of the book The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China. Current Anthropology 57(1).
2015 Making a Case for Reducing Pollution in China, or The Case of the Ugly Sperm. Ethnographic Case Series. Somatosphere. http://somatosphere.net/2015/10/making-a-case-for-reducing-pollution-in-china-or-the-case-of-the-ugly-sperm.html
2015 Book Review: Powerless Science? Science and Politics in a Toxic World. Medicine Anthropology Theory 1(1) http://www.medanthrotheory.org/read/3929/powerless-science-science-and-politics-in-a-toxic-world

Courses Taught


ANTH 307: Ecological Anthropology

ANTH 696D: Reproducing the Environment

FALL 2017

ANTH 200: Intro to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 696B: Anthropology, Environment, Health


ANTH 373: Toxic! The Anthropology of Exposure

ANTH 406: Gender

Research Interests

Science, Gender, Genomics, Environment, China

Janelle Lamoreaux's picture

Contact Information

Assistant Professor
Telephone: (520) 621-0373
Office: Haury 306
Office Hours: Monday 2:15-3:15, Wednesday 2:15-3:15


PhD in Medical Anthropology (2013) University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco

MA in Anthropology (2007)             New School for Social Research

BA in Sociology/Anthropology (2003) Lewis and Clark College


Catalog Courses by Faculty