Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine

Edited by Kristin Zeiler & Lisa Folkmarson Käll

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy, Medical Ethics, Health And Society, Feminist, Health Care
Paperback : 9781438450063, 320 pages, January 2015
Hardcover : 9781438450070, 320 pages, April 2014

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Table of contents

1. Why Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine?
Lisa Folkmarson Käll and Kristin Zeiler
2. The Illness Experience: A Feminist Phenomenological Perspective
Linda Fisher
3. Visceral Phenomenology: Organ Transplantation, Identity, and Bioethics
Margrit Shildrick
4. Communal Pushing: Childbirth and Intersubjectivity
Sarah LaChance Adams and Paul Burcher
5. Phenomenology, Cosmetic Surgery, and Complicity
Erik Malimqvist
6. Uncosmetic Surgeries in an Age of Normativity
Gail Weiss
7. “BIID”? Queer (Dis)Orientations and the Phenomenology of “Home”
Nikki Sullivan
8. Sexed Embodiment in Atypical Pubertal Development: Intersubjectivity, Excorporation, and the Importance of Making Space for Difference
Kristin Zeiler and Lisa Guntram
9. Reassigning Ambiguity: Intersex, Biomedicine, and the Question of Harm
Ellen K. Feder
10. Feminism, Phenomenology, and Hormones
Lanei M. Rodemeyer
11. The Body Uncanny: Alienation, Illness, and Anorexia Nervosa
Fredrik Svenaeus
12. Toward a Phenomenology of Disfigurement
Jenny Slatman and Gili Yaron
13. “She’s Research!” Exposure, Epistemophilia, and Ethical Perception through Mike Nichol’s Wit
Lisa Folkmarson Käll
14. Anaesthetics of Existence
Cressida J. Heyes
15. Wandering in the Unhomelike: Chronic Depression, Inequality, and the Recovery Imperative
Abby Wilkerson
List of Contributors

Phenomenological insights into health issues relating to bodily self-experience, normality and deviance, self-alienation, and objectification.


Situated at the intersection of phenomenology of medicine and feminist phenomenology, this volume provides insights into medical practices such as surgical operations, organ transplants, dentistry, midwifery, and psychiatry. The contributors make clear the relevance of feminist phenomenology to the fields of medicine and health by highlighting difference, vulnerability, and volatility as central dimensions of human experience rather than deviations. It also further vitalizes the field of phenomenology by bringing it into conversation with a range of different materials—including case studies, fiction, and other forms of narrative—and shedding new light on issues like bodily self-experience, normality and deviance, self-alienation, and objectification. The volume's focus on concrete experience develops and sharpens the methodological tools and conceptual framework of phenomenology and makes it an excellent resource for scholars, students, and medical practitioners alike.

Kristin Zeiler is Associate Professor of Medical Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden, and Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala University, Sweden. Folkmarson Käll is Docent of Theoretical Philosophy at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Research Associate at the Division of Health and Society at Linköping University, Sweden. She is the editor of Dimensions of Pain: Humanities and Social Science Perspectives.


"…this volume is enjoyable to read and provides a positive, thought-provoking and original contribution for health-care professionals and philosophers interested in interrogating and articulating 'topical blindspots' of embodied medical phenomenology. It brings to the forefront many silent suppositions of medical phenomenology that have received little attention, and elucidates the practical relevance of phenomenology in a broader medical context than has hitherto been described. " — Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

"…this book is a significant and original contribution to both feminist theory and phenomenology. The volume bridges a range of fields of inquiry, filling a gap in the feminist scholarship on medicine while, at the same time, providing theoretical insights that will inform conceptual and practical concerns within biomedicine. " — Hypatia

"…the breadth and uniqueness of topics should interest anyone who works within the fields of philosophy of medicine and medical ethics … the collection is breaking new ground in a positive way … bringing a feminist phenomenological lens to the philosophy of medicine makes salient the many ways in which a variety of different kinds of oppressions are manifest within our medical systems and practices. The hope is that practitioners, theorists, and activists in the field read this book, and are moved to not only think in new directions but to act upon their thoughts. " — Bioethics. net

"Though this volume is best suited to those interested in phenomenology, a few articles, particularly Käll's article on Wit, a film used in many bioethics courses, have a more general appeal and would be well worth reading by bioethicists. " — CHOICE