Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor of anthropology, presented at the November 2012 American Anthropological Association meeting in San Francisco.
Her paper, “Got donor milk? Internet-based milk sharing in the U.S.,” was part of a special invited session, “Crossing Safely Into Toddlerhood: An Ecological Perspective on Risks to Infant Care,” sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition and Biological Anthropology Section.
Palmquist’s study is based on thematic analysis of Internet posts collected from two prominent online altruistic breast milk sharing sites between April 2011 – October 2012 as well as targeted participant observation of breast milk donation. Her paper demonstrates how online discourses reflect the ways in which those engaged in milk sharing conceptualize and navigate the various risks that are involved, particularly the risk of communicable diseases.
Palmquist has been awarded a 2013 FR&D summer research fellowship, which will support ethnographic inquiry into how information shared within online milk sharing sites translates into everyday milk sharing practices among donors and recipients.