By Elizabeth F. S. Roberts
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Additional resources for God's Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes
Bodies in nuestra realidad are specific and malleable. Both of these attributes have a history. Under the Spanish Real Audiencia of Quito (which had jurisdiction over most of modern Ecuador and southern Colombia from 1563 to 1822), designations of difference organized labor hierarchically. People were divided into categories that determined who would build, farm, serve, rule, administer, and minister to the empire. ” This was not a biological designation—the biological sciences did not exist yet—but instead a genealogical and religious means of enacting a person or group’s relationship to labor.
Latour’s argument that a distant God reduced the transformational ability of religious icons to invoke God’s presence is similar to Talal Asad’s genealogy of belief and ritual in Enlightenment thought. Asad argues that “belief” became predicated on the assumption of ritual as a signifying behavior for something else far away, “to be classified separately from practical, that is, technically effective, behavior” (Asad 1993, 58). In early Christian monasteries, the liturgy, the routine ritual of mass, was not seen as a separate, 14 .
Most medical technicians’ and even private physicians’ salaries are still too low to keep up with inflation, and the majority of the physicians I met in the private IVF clinics worked in two or three clinics or hospitals, both private and public. One physician worked in the mornings in an IVF laboratory, making life, and in the afternoon as a pathologist at the local state-funded police hospital, dissecting death. 24 . introduction Besides following the clinic schedule, I followed the schedule of women’s IVF cycles, the most intensive part of which lasted about a month, with a cluster of clinical procedures in the middle and subsequent bed rest.