New publication: “VULVA STUDY. hidden but not undiscovered” in Conversation with “Manufacturing the Vulva”

I am very proud to share that the Art-Science Interaction article I co-authored with my sister Merve Şahinol has been published open access (enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL) in NanoEthics (DOI:


Cosmetic surgery and techno-medical manufacturing of the body are booming. The transformative potential of cosmetic surgery is used to shape and enhance physical appearance, gender identity and sexuality. Among the cosmetic procedures that have become popular is intimate surgery for women, which is oriented towards an ideal shape of the vulva. Almost in parallel with this trend, vulva-positive websites highlighting the diversity of the vulva are becoming ever more widespread in order to enlighten women and contribute to women’s health. This Art-Science Interaction consists of two parts that are in conversation with one another. Artist Merve Şahinol presents in her part “VULVA STUDY. hidden but not undiscovered” photographs of clay vulvas she modeled during therapy sessions to use in talks with women who are challenged by their own perception of their body image. She shares her thoughts and experience of the modeling and learning process in form of prose. In “Manufacturing the Vulva”, sociologist Melike Şahinol explores the rhizomatic dilemma between self/body awareness and empowerment, and the normalization and beauty constraints of manufacturing the vulva. This contribution emphasizes the awareness of the vulva as well as the lack of specific analyses of post-surgery embodiment experiences that include the “new” corporeal experience of sexuality and the fact that these experiences in general have been addressed but not sufficiently analyzed.

Şahinol, M., Şahinol, M. “VULVA STUDY. hidden but not undiscovered” in Conversation with “Manufacturing the Vulva”. Nanoethics 16, 205–222 (2022).