Charis Thompson

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In Making Parents,[1], Charis Thompson discusses Fetal surgery - operating on the fetus while it is still in the womb. This turns the mother and her unborn child into quasi subjects and quasi objects. Both are agents in the same way that agents are in actor network theory. The mother can be treated as a subject of biomedical intervention, but at the same time she's giving permission for the institution to preform the operations. Thompson demonstrates that actors can, at any time, be both subjects and objects in institutions with a sizable amount of power and control over them, yet they have always had a certain amount of transformative opportunity that can be actualized inside those same systems.

Related Reading

Actor-Network Theory


  1. Thompson, Charis. Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies. MIT Press. June 2005.