Sahar Sadjadi is a medical anthropologist and assistant professor of Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College. She studied medicine at Tehran University, worked as a physician in Kurdistan, Iran and received her PhD in medical anthropology from Columbia University. She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research has been funded by Wenner-Gren Foundation, National Science Foundation and Brocher Foundation.
Anthropology of science and medicine; the body and temporality; gender and identity; sexuality; childhood; materialism; multi-sited ethnography
During my residency at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study, I will revise a book manuscript titled Beautiful Children: Medicine and the Future of Gender. This book is based on a multi-sited ethnography of clinical practices that have emerged around gender non-conforming and transgender children in the United States. To explain how the clinical field has come to define children’s Gender Dysphoria, I explore the contemporary cultural attachment to the gene and the brain as the origin of identity. I consider how childhood became a privileged site for tracing the authenticity of identity and the particular temporal imagining of the child-adult relation that guides these psychiatric and endocrine practices. This research addresses the controversies surrounding the preemptive interventions to block growth and puberty (and the potential sterilization) of both gender variant children and disabled children. In Paris, I will also develop my next ethnographic project, a transnational study of contemporary sexology, the early stages of which I have initiated in Iran.