Heather Latimer

Assistant Professor

Gender and Women's Studies
Office: ART 261
Phone: 250.807.8153
Email: heather.latimer@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor



Research Summary

Reproductive technologies and politics, especially reproductive futurism; biopolitics; sexuality studies; science and technology studies; feminist new materialism and post-humanism; cultural studies; literature and film.

Courses & Teaching

Reproductive politics; sexuality studies; science studies; critical race; concepts of sex and gender; social justice. Specifically, GWST 440 The Politics of Reproduction; GWST 323 Feminist Epistemologies: Gender, Science, and Knowledge; GWST 223 Critical Sexuality Studies; GWST 215 Gender and Popular Culture; GWST 110 Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Power II: Everyday Life

Websites

heatherlatimer.com

Degrees

PhD, English, Simon Fraser University
MA, Gender and Women's Studies, University of British Columbia

Research Interests & Projects

Current Projects

The Queer Future of Reproductive Politics

This project examines how reproductive politics, which are popularly framed by several assumptions about nature, the body, and time, are usefully challenged by new materialism. I ask how reproductive politics might be rethought if we took seriously queer, materialist epistemologies, which cast all matter and all bodies, not simply as objects of knowledge, but as vital agents of their own. My goal is to gain new perspective on the reproductive assumptions structuring social and political belonging, as well as to challenge the heteronormative forms of futurism that underscore reproduction. What might reproductive politics look like, for instance, if we took up Donna Haraway’s call to make kin otherwise? What if we stopped thinking of reproductive politics within the framework of reproductive futurism? And, what would it mean for reproductive politics, which are so focused on human relationships, if we stopped seeing the human as centre of the social order?

Future Now: The Reproductive Dystopia

This project examines reproduction’s role in contemporary dystopic fiction. Described as an “emerging genre,” the characteristic feature of the reproductive dystopia is a future setting in which “women’s personal and reproductive freedoms are curtailed to varying degrees” by “an all-controlling state” (Nicolaou 2018). The last two years have seen a proliferation of such stories, written both by well-established and emergent authors. This project investigates what this new genre can tell us about the political unconscious, to use Fredric Jameson’s term, of public and private discourses. It suggests the genre can help us to see how and why reproduction has become a cultural and political obsession.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Google Scholar

Articles, Books and Book Chapters

Year Publication
2017 “Reproductive Politics, the Negative Present, and Cosmopolitan Futurity.” Negative Cosmopolitanisms: Cultures and Politics of World Citizenship after Globalization. Eds. Eddy Kent and Terri Tomsky. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2017. 195-213.
2016 “The Politics of Representation: Reading, Writing, Affect,” from “The Intro Course: A Pedagogical Toolkit.” In “Belaboured Introductions: Inspired Reflections on the Introductory Course in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies,” a special issue of Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice 37.2 (2016): 61.
2014 “Pregnant Possibilities: Cosmopolitanism, Kinship and Reproductive Futurism in Maria Full of Grace and In America.” Whose Cosmopolitanism? Critical Cosmopolitanism, Relationalities and Discontents. Eds. Andrew Irving and Nina Glick Schiller. London: Berghahn Press, 2014. 227-43.
2013 “The Straight Line: Sexuality, Futurity, and the Politics of Austerity.” English Studies in Canada 39.4 (2013): 21-4.
2013 Reproductive Acts: Sexual Politics in North American Fiction and Film. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2013.
2011 “Bio-reproductive Futurism: The Pregnant Refugee in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men.” Social Text 108 29.3 (2011): 51-72.
2011 “Reproductive Technologies, Fetal Icons, and Genetic Freaks: Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl and the Limits and Possibilities of Donna Haraway’s Cyborg.” Modern Fiction Studies 57.2 (2011): 318-35.
2009 “Popular Culture and Reproductive Politics: Juno, Knocked Up and the Enduring Legacy of The Handmaid’s Tale.” Feminist Theory 10.2 (2009): 209-24.

Selected Grants & Awards

Winner of the 2017 UBC Killam Teaching Prize
Winner of the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund Grant (2017-19)

 

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