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 is the author of Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime (University of Illinois Press, 2019) as well as a number of academic essays on feminism, rhetoric, and reproductive politics. She is currently working on two book projects. Queering Family: Reimagining Kinship and Community examines how we might narrate kin to invite more creative and generous understandings of community, belonging, and nation. New Grammars for Reproductive Justice, a joint project with Shui-yin Sharon Yam at the University of Kentucky, explores how feminist health care providers and advocates are crafting new vocabularies to address the complexities of gender in pregnancy, childbirth, and family formation. Her work can also be found in various academic journals and edited volumes, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies.
Fixmer-Oraiz’s research has emerged organically from a combination of academic training alongside more than fifteen years of experience in reproductive politics as a community organizer and advocate in a number of local and regional contexts. She 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.
Fixmer-Oraiz serves on the editorial board for 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.