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Camisha Russell

Camisha Russell is an assistant professor of philosophy. Her book, The Assisted Reproduction of Race is based on the idea that assisted reproductive technologies offer a particularly interesting site for investigating questions surrounding race

"The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART)--in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and gestational surrogacy--challenges contemporary notions of what it means to be parents or families. Camisha A. Russell argues that these technologies also bring new insight to ideas and questions surrounding race. In her view, if we think of ART as medical technology, we might be surprised by the importance that people using them put on race, especially given the scientific evidence that race lacks a genetic basis. However if we think of ART as an intervention to make babies and parents, as technologies of kinship, the importance placed on race may not be so surprising after all. Thinking about race in terms of technology brings together the common academic insight that race is a social construction with the equally important insight that race is a political tool which has been and continues to be used in different contexts for a variety of ends, including social cohesion, economic exploitation, and political mastery. As Russell explores ideas about race through their role in ART, she brings together social and political views to shift debates from what race is to what race does, how it is used, and what effects it has had in the world." -description from publisher's website

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“Camisha Russell’s impressive examination of assisted reproductive technologies considers an aggregate of practices that are dependent on the persistence of race as an organizing principle, even as the concept of race is fundamentally discredited. In demonstrating that discourses of race continually and clandestinely produce coherent frameworks for these and other social practices, she offers us crucial insights into why race and racism have proven to be so intransigent.”

– Angela Davis, author of Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement