Jennifer Denbow

Jennifer Denbow

Assistant Professor


  • Public Law
  • Political Theory
  • Reproductive Law and Politics
  • Feminist Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies

Contact Information

About Jennifer Denbow

Jennifer Denbow's research uses discourse analysis along with political theory, feminist theory, critical race studies, and science & technology studies to explore and critique facets of reproductive health law and politics in the US. Her book, Governed through Choice: Autonomy, Technology, and the Politics of Reproduction (NYU Press, 2015) examines, for example, prison and medical policies regarding sterilization. In analyzing these and other policies, she argues that experts often employ a liberal western understanding of autonomy that justifies paternalism for anyone whose behavior does not adhere to dominant norms. The book thus uncovers how lawmakers, judges, and medical experts use discourses of autonomy and choice to undermine reproductive justice. The book also theorizes a more emancipatory vision of autonomy. Her work has also been published in journals such as Signs, Constellations, and Frontiers.

Jennifer Denbow's current projects include an examination of the role of neoliberalism and neoconservatism in reproductive law and politics. Another project critically investigates the relation between medical science and reproductive politics.


  • Ph.D., Jurisprudence and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley (2010) Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley (2007)
  • B.S., Philosophy, Minors in Mathematics and Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2003)


  • Judicial Process
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Rights
  • Reproductive Politics
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Basic Concepts of Political Thought


Selected Publications 

“The Problem with Hobby Lobby: Neoliberal Jurisprudence and Neoconservative Values,” Feminist Legal Studies (2017).

"Abortion as Genocide: Race, Agency, and Nation in Prenatal Nondiscrimination Bans," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 41, no. 3 (2016).

Governed through Choice: Autonomy, Technology, and the Politics of Reproduction (New York: New York University Press, 2015).

“Reproductive Autonomy, Counter-conduct, and the Juridical,” Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, vol. 21, no. 3 (2014).

“Sterilization as Cyborg Performance: Reproductive Freedom and the Regulation of Sterilization,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 35, no. 1 (2014).

“The Pedagogy of Rape Law: Objectivity, Identity, and Emotion,” The Journal of Legal Education, vol. 64, no. 1 (2014).

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