Research Seminar: “Health Interventions, Gender, At-Risk Bodies, and the Danger of Rescue Missions" by Geneviève Rail, PhD


McGill University Department of Family Medicine, 5858 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Suite 300, Montreal, QC, CA

The McGill Department of Family Medicine presents “Health Interventions, Gender, At-Risk Bodies, and the Danger of Rescue Missions" by Geneviève Rail, Ph.D. 

In this presentation, Dr. Rail will flesh out some research results coming out of three CIHRfunded projects focusing on girls (HPV vaccine discourses), young women (obesity discourses), and older women (breast and gynecological cancer care discourses). She will explore how participants in these studies are hailed by subject positions offered by various biomedical discourses that intersect with dominant discourses of sex, gender, sexuality, race, and individual responsibility for health. I discuss the ways in which such biomedical discourses discipline girls and women to believe they are “at-risk” and, ultimately, to take part in some public health or health care processes supposedly leading to their “rescue,” better health, and full subjectivity. Using a poststructuralist discourse analysis, she investigates how participants appropriate and/or resist discourses, at times alerting us to the dangers of ill-conceived “rescue missions”. She will conclude on the importance of investigating and re-thinking gendered health interventions via an intersectional approach that takes account of girls’ and women’s narratives.

Geneviève Rail received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught courses related to women’s bodies, physical activity and health at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences from 1991 to 2009. Since 2009, she has been a Professor of Feminist Cultural Studies of Health at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University. Author of over 100 articles or book chapters, she has been a keynote speaker in over 50 national or international conferences. In the last 20 years, she has received funding from SSHRC and CIHR for projects involving women from varying sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, and socioeconomic milieus. She is interested in the intersection of these women’s identifications with the embodied experiences of health and illness.

There is no parking on site and parking is limited in the area.
Taxis and public transport are advised.

Cannot make the seminar physically, but would like to attend? Please join the webinar here.
(Note: Students from FMED 504 are expected to attend)