Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz joined the faculty after completing her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University.
Fixmer-Oraiz's first book project, Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime (University of Illinois Press, 2019), traces discursive alignments between motherhood and nation in homeland security culture. Taking a range of cultural sites and practices into account, she examines the recent history of US reproductive politics and the rhetorical challenges facing advocates for reproductive justice. She has published articles on rhetoric and reproduction, the commercial surrogacy industry, and third-wave feminism, as well as book chapters on the public debates surrounding birth control and communication activism pedagogy. She is currently collaborating with Sharon Yam at the University of Kentucky on a new book that explores how feminist reproductive health care providers and reproductive justice and rights advocates are crafting new vocabularies and practices to address the complexities of gender in pregnancy, childbirth, and family formation.
Her research appears in journals and edited volumes, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. She serves on the editorial board of Quarterly Journal of Speech and Women’s Studies in Communication and is the co-author of the textbook Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture with Julia T. Wood.
Fixmer-Oraiz teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, gender and sexuality studies, social movements and feminisms. She encourages connections between theory and practice, the community and the classroom, through service-learning and experiential education, and is involved in various community-based reproductive justice initiatives.