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‘These were made-to-order babies’: Reterritorialised Kinship, Neoliberal Eugenics and Artificial Reproductive Technology in Kishwar Desai’s Origins of Love
  1. Manali Karmakar1,
  2. Avishek Parui2
  1. 1 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India
  2. 2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. Correspondence to Manali Karmakar, Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Guwahati, Assam 781039, India; mkarmakar68{at}


This essay examines Kishwar Desai’s Origins of Love (2012) in order to foreground how the novel is complexly reflective of the biomedical technologies strategically deployed by medical practitioners and prospective parents for the purpose of reinforcing caste-based bionormative notion of family that artificial reproductive technology is assumed to have problematised. The essay also demonstrates how the use of bioenhancement facilities has led to the revival of neoliberal eugenics enmeshed with state-led biopolitics. The essay draws on the concept of renaturalisation discussed by Tamar Sharon in order to examine how the schizophrenic or deterritorialising potential of reproductive technology is reconfigured and domesticated by the medicolegal practitioners in order to reterritorialise the normative structures of kinship and family formation within a capitalist consumerist culture.

  • artificial reproductive technology
  • bio-normative family
  • kinship network
  • caste
  • eugenics

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  • Collaborators Manali Karmakar; Avishek Parui.

  • Contributors Both the authors have equally contributed to the development of the research paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.