Simon Fraser University, 2010, PhD

Biography

Dr. Heather Latimer is a Lecturer at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice and in the Coordinated Arts Program. She received her PhD from Simon Fraser University in 2010 and has taught at the Institute since 2013. Her primary fields of scholarship and teaching are cultural studies, science studies, and health studies. Her research focuses on how reproductive politics connect to the gendered body and (trans)national politics. Specifically, she is interested in how reproductive technologies and politics are shaped by conversations focused on citizenship, sexuality, globalization, and biopolitics. She has published articles in Feminist TheorySocial Text, and Modern Fiction Studies. Her first book, Reproductive Acts: Sexual Politics in North American Fiction and Film, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2013.

Research

In June 2012 I completed a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Manchester at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC), and in English and American Studies. Drawing on my training in feminist theory and literary and textual criticism, my postdoctoral project, titled “The Fetus and the Refugee: New Citizenship in Contemporary Film,” investigated how the figure of the fetus functions culturally in comparison to the figure of the refugee, especially as each intersects with conversations about citizenship rights. In particular, I examined how the figure of the fetus aligns with the figure of the refugee as limit cases of how we might currently imagine who or what is considered worthy of state protection. Overall, I argued that the fetus and the refugee act as representational limits to the ways we imagine citizenship rights: the fetus, not yet alive but often monitored and protected by the state, sits at the opposite end of the political spectrum from the refugee, who is fully alive but often ignored and abandoned by the state. In making this argument, I focused especially on how these two forms of citizenship meet in representations of the pregnant body, and what this can tell us about representational politics, subjectivity and temporality.

My current program of research continues this line of inquiry by arguing that biological life is tied to the ways we currently imagine the reproducibility of political life in our cultural imagination, specifically through a type of narrative drive that posits the possible solution to current political problems in the biological or future human. I analyze a selection of transnational films that demonstrate this reproductive futurism to argue that reproductive politics structure national and postnational futuristic fantasies of belonging and exclusion. Here, I take reproductive politics in its largest sense as concerning not only fertility, but also the social context in which certain relationships are perceived and reproduced whilst others are not. My thesis is that cinematic representations of reproduction play a key part in our cultural imagination in that they give us insight into the limits and boundaries of the cultural intelligibility of the human, demonstrating that fears about political change are connected to, configured by, and imaginably dealt with via reproductive futurism.

Selected Publications

Latimer, Heather. “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

Latimer, Heather. “The Straight Line: Sexuality, Futurity, and the Politics of Austerity.” Reader’s Forum. English Studies in Canada 39.4 (2013): 21-24.

Latimer, Heather. “Review: Marika Seigel, The Rhetoric of Pregnancy.” Configurations 22.2 (2014): 299- 301

Books

2013               Reproductive Acts: Sexual Politics in North American Fiction and Film. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2013. Print.

Refereed Journal Articles

2011               “Bio-reproductive Futurism: The Pregnant Refugee in Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.” Social Text 108 29.3 (2011): 51-72. Print.

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): 318-335. Print.

2009               “Popular Culture and Reproductive Politics: JunoKnocked Up and the Enduring Legacy of The Handmaid’s Tale.” Feminist Theory 10.2 (2009): 209-224. Print.

2006               “Eating, Abjection and Transformation in the Work of Hiromi Goto.”Thirdspace: A Journal of Feminist Theory and Culture 5.2 (2006). <http://www.thirdspace.ca/ vol5/5_2_Latimer.htm>. Web.

2005               “Hybridity and Whiteness in Claudine C. O’Hearn’s Half and Half: Writings on Growing up Biracial and Bicultural.”CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 7.3 (2005).<http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/clcweb/vol7/iss3/4/>. Web.

Refereed Book Chapters

2014               “Pregnant Possibilities: Cosmopolitan Kinship and Reproductive Futurism inMaria Full of Grace and In America.” Whose Cosmopolitanism? Critical Cosmopolitanism, Relationalities and Discontents. Eds. Andrew Irving and Nina Glick Schiller. Forthcoming with Berghahn Press in 2014. Print.