As ALOUD examines the delicate balancing act of power and value in a special series this fall, we’ll consider how technology tips the scales to redefine the dynamics of our human relationships. What will happen to our notions of marriage and parenthood as reproductive technologies allow for new ways of creating babies? What will happen to our understanding of gender as medical advances enable individuals to transition from one set of sexual characteristics to another or to remain happily perched in between? What will happen to love and sex and romance as our relationships migrate from the real world to the Internet? Can people fall in love with robots? Harvard Business School Professor Debora Spar explores these questions in her new book, Work, Mate, Marry, Love. Discussing how technology is transforming the intimacies of our lives, Spar will be joined in conversation by Michele Bratcher Goodwin. A Professor at the University of California, Irvine, and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, Goodwin is a leading voice on civil liberties, civil rights, reproductive rights and justice, and cultural politics. Listen to this provocative imagining of our future humanity.
Debora Spar, author of Work, Mate, Marry, Love, is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the former president of Barnard College. Her previous books include Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection and Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet. Her new groundbreaking book covers decisions we make in our most intimate lives—whom to marry, how to have children, how to think about love and romance, and families. Spar argues that all of these choices have always been driven by technology. Technology not only promises to change our commercial and economic lives, but also our family lives, our sexual lives, and ultimately the very nature of life itself.
Michele Bratcher Goodwin is a Professor at the University of California, Irvine, and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She is also faculty in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department as well as the Program in Public Health. Professor Goodwin’s scholarship is hailed as “exceptional” in the New England Journal of Medicine. She has been featured in Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times and her scholarship is published or forthcoming in The Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, and Northwestern Law Review, among others. Trained in sociology and anthropology, she has conducted field research in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, focusing on trafficking in the human body for marriage, sex, organs, and other biologics. In addition to her work on reproductive health, rights, and justice, Professor Goodwin is credited with forging new ways of thinking in organ transplant policy and assisted reproductive technologies, resulting in works such as Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts (2006) and Baby Markets: Money and the Politics of Creating Families (2010). She serves on the executive committee and national board of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is a highly sought-after voice on civil liberties, civil rights, reproductive rights and justice, and cultural politics.