My main research project focuses on the ethics and politics of transnational commercial contract pregnancy. In previous work I examined judgment and the agency of gestational labourers, and philosophical problems with Canadian policy on commercialized reproduction. What is missing from my previous work is a consideration of the Global Northern consumer. In my current research, I am interested in the ethical and political dimensions of individuals choosing to pursue transnational contract pregnancy (arguably a neocolonial enterprise) as a means of assisted reproduction. I am also interested in what gift narratives (i.e., narratives about how and whether contract pregnancy is “a gift”) might tell us about the ethical limits of a pregnancy contract, and what kind of political and moral relationship exists between Global Southern gestational laborers and Global Northern reproductive travelers.
A second aspect of my research concerns the commodification of labor. I am collaborating with Emma Ryman, a PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario, on reconceptualizing gestational labourers as patient-workers, not merely as labourers. In a different direction, I am in the beginning stages of a research project on the commodification of nonhuman animals’ labour in laboratories. This work builds on the analysis of commodification at the center of a project (with Patrick Clipsham, Winona State University) on commodification and veganism. Picking up on themes from my work on judgment and contract pregnancy, I am working on a project on Hannah Arendt’s failures and successes of judgment in her infamous “Reflections on Little Rock” essay.
Recent and forthcoming publications
- “Hannah Arendt and Pregnancy in the Public Sphere.” In Feminist Phenomenology Futures. Ed. Helen A. Fielding and Dorothea Olkowski. pp. 257-74. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.
- (with Rita A. Gardiner) “Family Matters: An Arendtian Critique of Organizational Structures.” Gender, Work & Organization 24.5 (2017): 506-18.
- “Cross-Border Reproductive Travel, Neocolonialism, and Canadian Policy.” IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 10.1 (2017): 225-47.
- (with Emma Ryman) “The Patient-Worker: A Model for Human Research Subjects and Gestational Surrogates.” Developing World Bioethics. Published online first 13 January 2017.
- (with Patrick Clipsham) “An Anti-Commodification Defense of Veganism.” Ethics, Policy & Environment 19.3 (2016): 285-300.
- “Commercial Contract Pregnancy in India, Judgment, and Resistance to Oppression.” Hypatia 30.4 (2015): 846-61.
- “Embodied Judgment and Hannah Arendt: From Boethius and Huck Finn to Transnational Feminisms.” Phaenex 9.2 (2014): 64-87.
- “The Capabilities Approach to Justice and the Flourishing of Nonsentient Life.” Ethics & the Environment 18.1 (2013): 19-42.