Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz named F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, University of IowaNatalie Fixmer-Oraiz, a leading scholar of feminist and gender studies, has been appointed the F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor, Communication Studies, by the University of Iowa.

Fixmer-Oraiz is a faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies, with a joint appointment in the Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies.

Sara Sanders, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the associate professorship is well-deserved recognition of Fixmer-Oraiz's teaching and scholarship to date, as well as of her potential for further national and international leadership in her field of study.

"We are proud to have Dr. Fixmer-Oraiz on our faculty, and I am delighted that the University of Iowa has named her an F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor," Sanders said. "Her work is having an important national impact among scholars, students, and policymakers. I congratulate her on this career milestone, and I look forward to learning about her scholarship and academic accomplishments for years to come."

Fixmer-Oraiz's research focuses on communication, culture, feminism, and reproductive politics. In addition to articles and book chapters, she has published two full-length books.

She is author of Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime, published by the University of Illinois Press in 2019. The book explores the ways that Americans' conceptions of national security impact our perceptions of motherhood, pregnancy, birth control, abortion, and reproductive justice. In 2020, the National Communication Association named it the winner of the James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric/Public Address, and it was a finalist for the 2020 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award.

Fixmer-Oraiz also co-authored, with Professor Emerita Julia T. Wood of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the 13th edition of Wood's widely used textbook Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, due in December 2021. She served as second author with Wood for the 12th edition, and the two collaborated on a teaching guide for the book.

In addition, Fixmer-Oraiz presents her research often at international, national, and regional conferences, and has been invited to lecture at universities and colleges around the nation. In 2019, she served as visiting lecturer for the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Research at Bielefeld University in Bielefeld, Germany, and she serves on the editorial board for the journals Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Rhetoric and Public Affairs.

A popular teacher and mentor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Fixmer-Oraiz has been the principal advisor for three successful doctoral candidates and serves regularly on doctoral committees. She also supervises graduate students' teaching. 

Fixmer-Oraiz, who earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a graduate certificate in women's studies from Duke University, joined the Iowa faculty in 2012.

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.