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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge


Dr. Janelle Lamoreaux


My research focuses on science, technology and medicine with an emphasis on reproduction, gender and the environment. My dissertation (UC Berkeley 2013) investigated the relationship between reproductive and environmental health in China, especially as it relates to epigenetic research on male infertility. My book manuscript in progress, Infertile Futures: Producing and Reproducing the Chinese Environment, builds on this dissertation to explore how multiple environments of toxic exposure are brought into being at various scales through the scientific practices of reproductive toxicologists, attending to the ways in which toxicologists both examine and produce the toxic environments of exposure they research. The project explores the connections epigenetic toxicological research makes between economic, industrial and human development, examining the role of toxicants in the imagination and materialization of scientific and reproductive futures. 

As part of the Reproductive Sociology Research Group I am currently developing a second project on the use of reproductive technologies by coral conservationists located in and beyond the South China Sea. I am especially interested in exploring questions about the relationship between reproduction and the environment, and am currently working with Katie Dow on a collaborative effort to explore this theme through our series of "Reproducing the Environment" events. Our first Reproducing the Environment panel was held as an invited session at the 2015 American Anthropological Association Annual meeting, and the next will be held on May 27 at the Royal Anthropological Institute's conference on Anthropology, Weather, and Climate Change. Please see this link for a further description of our panel:

I currently lecture at Cambridge in the following courses: Sociology of Gender, Advanced Social Theory, Globalization and Modern Societies. I am also a supervisor for MPhil and PhD students in Sociology, as well as Lucy Cavendish College students enrolled in Introduction to Social Theory. Previously I taught anthropology courses at the University of California, Berkeley, including Science and the Making of Sex and Gender and Toxic! The Anthropology of Exposure.

I have a PhD (2013) in Medical Anthropology from University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, a MA in Anthropology (2007) from the New School for Social Research, and a BA in Sociology/Anthropology (2003) from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon - near my hometown in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Key Publications

Manuscript in Progress - Infertile Futures: Producing and Reproducing the Chinese Environment

Article -  "What if the environment is a Person?” Lineages of epigenetic research in a Toxic China, Forthcoming, Cultural Anthropology, May 2016.

Book Reviews

Lust. Money. Impotence. (Zhang's The Impotence Epidemic: Men’s Medicine and Sexual Desire in Contemporary China)Current Anthropology 2016 57:1127-128

"Powerless Science? Science and Politics in a Toxic World." Medical Anthropology Theory.


Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate: Contributing Lecturer on the following courses: INT 3 - Sociology of Gender; SOC 3 Globalization and Modern Society; SOC 6 Advanced Social Theory

Post-graduate: PhD and MPhil Co-Supervisor in Sociology


Selected conference presentations

November 2015, Swimming in Poison, Drowning in Estrogen: at the confluence of environmental and reproductive health, American Anthropological Association, Denver CO.

October 2015 "Soy as (Internal) Exposure: (In)fertile Reflections on Chinese Masculinities and Metabolisms, ChinaReproTech: an international, interdisciplinary conference on reproductive technologies in China, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, October.

September 2015, Making and Remaking the Relevance of the Environment to Human Health: Epigenetic Toxicology in China, MAGic 2015: Anthropology and Global Health: Interrogating Theory, Policy and Practice, European Association of Social Anthropology Medical Anthropology Network and the Royal Anthropological Institute Medical Anthropology Committee, University of Sussex

January 2015, "What if the Environment is a Person?" Epigenetic Research on Birth Defects in China, Medical Anthropology Seminar, Oxford University

October 2014, "Swimming in a Sea of Oestrogrens": Reproducing Sex/Gender in Chinese Toxicology, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Cambridge

August 2014, "The Ghosts in Our Genes" Rethinking Chiense Relatedness, Epigenetically, European Association of Social Anthropology, Talinn, Estonia.

October 2013, Panel Co-organizer: "Big Picture, Small Things" Society for the Social Studies of Science, San Diego. 

January 2013, Enacting Environments: Infertility, Epigenetics and China's Toxic Inheritance, Diana Forsythe Dissertation Award Seminar, University of California, San Francisco.

November 2012, "Infertility as Symptom and Diagnosis" American Anthropological Association, San Francisco.