Amber R. Knight

Assistant Professor
Fretwell 450F

Amber Knight, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, earned her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research generally focuses on contemporary democratic theory, disability theory, and feminist political thought. She has published articles in The Journal of Politics, Hypatia, and Politics, Groups, and Identities, among other outlets. 

She is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled The Politics of Prenatal Genetic Testing: Reproductive Autonomy and Disability Justice, co-authored with Dr. Joshua Miller. Prenatal genetic testing provides remarkably accurate genetic information about a fetus to prospective mothers, especially in the detection of genetic impairments. This book analyzes the political implications of this rapidly developing and routinized technology. We argue that even though prenatal testing is touted as a means to enhancing women's reproductive choices, it actually provides opportunities for intensified control over women's reproductive decisions in practice. The book shows how widespread ableist attitudes in medical institutions, the neoliberal privatization of care work, and the sexual division of labor all unjustly pressure prospective mothers to terminate impaired fetuses, even when they do not genuinely desire to do so. The book therefore asks: how can prospective mothers more autonomously decide whether they want to undergo prenatal testing, terminate a pregnancy following a positive result, carry the fetus to term, raise a child with a disability, or choose adoption? We argue that an adequate answer to this question must embed reproductive choice in social context and attend to the ways in which wider social forces-- like ableism-- influence reproductive decision-making.

Dr. Knight's CV