Nayantara Sheoran Appleton: Feminist Medical Anthropologist, gendered technologies and unintended logics – The Human Show Podcast 65





Nayantara Sheoran Appleton is an interdisciplinary scholar with training in Feminist Medical Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and Media Studies. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, a MSc in Communication Studies and a BA in Communication and Journalism from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, USA. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Anthropology and Sociology department at The Graduate Institute in Geneva. Since 2019 Nayantara is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Science in Society at the Victoria University in New Zealand. Her current work explores the politics of hormonal contraceptives and stem cell research and therapies. She is also starting a new research project on the relationship between immigrant and indigenous communities in terms of health policies and practices.

Today Nayantara engages us in a discussion about the technologies that effects the absolute majority of the entire population – pharmaceutical drugs, and more concretely – hormonal contraception. Having done extensive research on contraception in India, Nayantara talks about the multilayered causes and effects that science can have on our bodies. She gives examples of how the intended use of certain technologies create unintended logics, and instead of emancipating its users, further subjugate them. Nayantara challenges us with difficult questions: How to ensure that brown bodies do not become scapegoats in the discourse of climate change? Who creates AI that look like tiny barbies and speak like subjugated women? Should we not ask more of technology? At the end we ask Nayantara to give advice to pharmaceutical companies on how to do better.


Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast here:


Mentioned in Podcast:
Center for Science in Society, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand,
Sheoran, N. (2011) Reading the i-pill advertisement: The pleasures and pressures of contemporary contraceptive advertising in India. In R. Chopra & R. Gajjala (Eds.), Global media, Culture, and Identity (pp 85-99). New York, NY: Routledg
Stuart Hall, Encoding/Decoding model of Communication,
Climate Change Denial Lobby,

Social media:
Twitter – @nayantarapple

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