Northwestern Events Calendar


Jessica Mathiason: "New Eugenic Media: Gender, Sexuality, and Bioethics in the 21st Century"

When: Thursday, May 17, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM  

Where: Kresge Hall, Trienens Hall (1-515), 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Jasmine E. Tucker   847.491.5871

Group: Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Jessica Lee Mathiason received her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Her dissertation project, “Engineering Kinship: Genetic Technologies, Economic Speculation, and the Queer Body” examines the ideological and aesthetic evolution of eugenic discourse as it travels from Progressive Era Eugenic Cinema to 21st century genetic-themed fi lm, television, and new media. Linking the critical humanities to the biological sciences, she contests the traditional narrative that eugenic science was an exclusively right-wing phenomenon by revealing the surprising appearance of several radical elements—feminism, progressive economics, and social welfare reform—within this otherwise pernicious social project. Today, these progressive strands of eugenic ideology have been de-radicalized through two signifi cant shifts: from progressive economics to neoliberalism and from eugenics as a state-sponsored program to a corporation-driven one. This speculative future—depicted in audio-visual texts from Orphan Black and ReGenesis to viral videos on “Neo-evolution”— veers away from the progressives’ valuation of queer diff erence by employing technological means and legal strategies to compel social normativity. Her work has been published in the journals Cultural Critique and Transgender Studies Quarterly and is forthcoming in the edited collection Orphan Black: Sestras, Scorpions, and Crazy Science (Buckman and Brennan Croft, McFarland 2018).

Dr. Mathiason received her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota after graduating from Northwestern University. She graduated with magna cum laude honors wtih a B.A. in Gender Studies and English in 2007.

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