Research

Publications

Hasson, Katie Ann. 2012. "Making Appropriation 'Stick': Stabilizing Politics in an 'Inherently Feminist' Tool." 42(5):638-661. (available here)

Abstract: This article examines how feminist politics are made to ‘stick’ to appropriated technologies in the context of a contemporary feminist women’s health clinic in the US. Feminist clinics such as ‘FemHealth’, founded as part of 1970s women’s health movements, put medical tools and knowledge into lay women’s hands, making the appropriation of medical technologies a centerpiece of their political project. In the process, they rejected the authority of physicians and gave new politicized meanings to the tools they claimed as their own. As lay healthworkers at FemHealth continued the project of appropriation, they also continued to negotiate their dependence on physicians to perform tasks that required a medical license. Drawing on participant observation and interviews with healthworkers, I argue that struggles over the role and authority of physicians in this clinic play out through debates over two similar and competing tools used in the abortion procedure: the single-tooth tenaculum and the cervical stabilizer. Many healthworkers invested in the stabilizer as ‘inherently feminist’ in hopes that it would maintain its politics even when passed into physicians’ hands. While appropriation depends on the ability of users to alter a technology’s meanings, actors may feel invested in the new politics taken on by appropriated tools and work towards making those meanings persist, or ‘stick’.


Hasson, Katie Ann. 2012. "From Bodies to Lives, Complainers to Consumers: Measuring Menstrual Excess." 75(10):1729-1736. (available here)

Abstract: Feminist research has shown repeatedly the extent to which medical accounts pathologize menstruation, yet there has been very little examination of how clinicians and medical researchers actually study and assess menstruation. This paper analyzes 30 US medical journal articles to examine how researchers work to distinguish the specific menstrual disorder of menorrhagia, or excessive bleeding, from normal menstruation. I focus specifically on measurement as a key process in diagnosing menstrual pathology, arguing that measurement practices construct women's bodies as appropriate objects of medical attention in ways that also shape women's positions as participants in knowledge production. I begin with the alkaline hematin method's narrow focus on physical proof of bleeding that proves or disproves women's complaints and trace the emergence of new methods that incorporate women's own assessments of bleeding. Changing ways of measuring menstruation point to shifts in understandings of the body as the object of medical treatment and of patients as medical subjects.


Book Reviews
Hasson, Katie A. 2009. “Getting Lost and Moving On.” Australian Feminist Studies 24(62):473-476. 
Invited review essay for Sciences from Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities, and Modernities, by Sandra Harding, and Getting Lost: Feminist Efforts toward a Double(d) Science, by Patti Lather.