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A compelling exploration of how fiction and film provide ways of understanding reproductive politics in the U.S.
Forty years post Roe v. Wade, it is evident that the ideologies of choice and rights, which have publicly framed reproductive politics in the U.S. since the landmark legal decision, have been inadequate in making sense of the topic’s complexities. In Reproductive Acts, Heather Latimer investigates what contemporary fiction and film tells us about the divisive nature of these politics. She demonstrates how fictional representations of reproduction allow for readings of reproductive politics that are critical of the terms of the debate itself.
This book is an innovative argument about the power of fiction to engage and shape politics. Latimer analyzes works by Margaret Atwood, Kathy Acker, Toni Morrison, Larissa Lai, and director Alfonso Cuarón, among others, to claim that the unease surrounding reproduction, particularly the abortion debate, has increased both inside and outside the U.S. over the last forty years. Heather Latimer argues that fictional representation reveals reproductive politics to be deeply connected to cultural anxieties about gender, race, citizenship, and sexuality. Anxieties that cannot be contained under the rules of individual rights or choices. ISBN 9780773541580.
Heather Latimer’s research spans literary studies, film studies, gender studies, and cultural studies, with a focus on reproduction and representational politics. She is interested in fictional explorations of reproductive technologies and politics, and how they connect to issues surrounding citizenship, sexuality, globalization, biopolitics, and post-modernity. This research is in her book, Reproductive Acts: Sexual Politics in North American Fiction and Film. Further research interests are popular culture, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonial studies, sexuality studies, and health and medicine.
Heather’s new research focuses on how the figure of the fetus functions in comparison to the figure of the refugee in our cultural and political imagination, especially as both figures intersect with current conversations about citizenship and human rights.