Banking on the Body: American Commerce in Flesh and Blood in the Twentieth Century

Professor Susan Lederer (University of Madison Wisconsin)

5.15-6.30 pm, Wednesday 20 May 2009

Lecture Theatre 4, Stopford Building, University of Manchester

Drinks reception to follow.

Professor Susan Lederer will reflect upon the American practice of selling

blood, skin and other body parts in the twentieth century. This

commodification of the body, its fluids and its parts was never complete nor

was it uncontested. As early as the 1920s, some observers cautioned about

the “despicable traffic in organs” and in the 1950s and 1960s, new

transplantation operations raised the spectre of a market in human kidneys

and hearts. Some degree of control was introduced with the National Organ

Transplant Act in 1984, though despite regulation and public distaste, the

market in human tissue continued to operate. Professor Lederer’s lecture

will draw on her recent book, Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and

Blood Transfusion in Twentieth Century America. (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Further details from [email protected]