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Tiffany Romain
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2005-06, Cultural and Social Anthropology

Tiffany Romain deploys ethnography to understand three key aspects of cryopreservation technologies: the freezing of embryos, the freezing of unfertilized eggs, and the freezing of dead bodies in hopes of reviving them in the future. Romain's interprets her informants' actions as attempts to "buy time," either on the biological or life-span clock. Which forms of buying time they had access to, which they felt entitled to, and which they felt morally justified, however, divide dramatically along gender lines, as well as racial and class-based ones. Her thesis explores the relationship between cosmologies that frame questions of personhood, mortality, time, and subject positioning in terms of gender, sexuality, race, class, religious upbringing, and nationality.