American Studies
American Studies

Anna Lyon

Doctoral Student
Anna Lyon



US cultural history, medical history, reproductive technologies, critical race studies, queer studies, materialist feminism


Originally from Seattle, Anna holds a B.A. in Gender Studies from the University of Southern California (2012) and an M.A. from NYU’s Draper Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Thought (2015). Her master’s work considered the impacts and failures of the 1970s women’s health text, Our Bodies, Ourselves.

At UT, Anna continues to investigate relationships between women, reproduction, and the medical field. Her current work theorizes egg donors as legal subjects, medical objects, and specters who trouble the meaning of kinship. Her research traces the legacy of race- and class-based stratification in reproductive options, from slavery through the present day, using the figure of the egg donor to consider how longstanding injustices are remade and reshaped by assisted reproductive technologies in the present moment.

Anna also teaches middle-school literacy at Long-View Micro School in Austin.


AMS 311S • Sex, Science And America

31092 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 4:00PM-5:00PM GAR 1.134
Wr (also listed as WGS 301)

Reproduction and science have long been intertwined in America, with anxieties about national identity at the crux of these entanglements. In this course, we will trace the legacy of science, medicine, public health, and reproduction from the Antebellum to the present day, studying everything from medical experiments on enslaved women to egg donations in the 21st century. We will draw on a variety of sources, including fiction, film, histories, and primary sources from the past and present, using the topic of reproduction as an entry point for understanding America’s longstanding anxieties about the race, class, and genetic composition of the nation’s residents. By the end of the course, students will understand how the fields of science, medicine, and public health have influenced and responded to anxieties about race and class in America. They will be able to synthesize primary and secondary sources, as well as historical and contemporary sources, to make original arguments about science and medicine, and their relationship to American culture and identity. Students will also become comfortable critically analyzing nonacademic sources like “donor wanted” ads, and pairing them with scholarly sources to make historically-grounded arguments about events unfolding in today’s world. 

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