Rhetorics of Choice and Care in Discourses of Genetic Risk
Our Zoom meeting ID remains the same.
Meeting ID: 694 188 4189
In this talk, I report on a study of the critical and biosocial discourses surrounding BRCA risk (that is, genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancers due to a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation), showing how constructivist understandings of risk reinforce the rhetorics of choice
that have dominated our thinking about genetic medicine for decades. In contrast to this rhetoric of choice, I advocate for a rhetoric of care, identifying in those same biosocial discourses a set of rhetorical topics that shift our attention from how or if women at genetic risk choose freely to how or if they receive good medical care.
Kelly Pender is an associate professor in the English department at Virginia Tech, where she teaches courses in critical theory, the rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine, and the history of rhetoric. She is the author of two books, Techne, From Neoclassicism to Postmodernism (Parlor Press 2011) and Being at Genetic Risk: Toward a Rhetoric of Care (Penn State Press 2018).