Erica Millar

Dr Erica Millar


School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

Erica's research expertise is in the socio-legal, social and cultural aspects of reproduction. Her work examines how norms of reproduction consolidate identities at the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality and (dis)ability. She is further interested in examining the relationship between reproduction and racialised processes of nation-building, linking the biopolitics of reproduction to normative identities and ideas of national belonging and exclusion. Her work draws from a range of disciplinary traditions and is interested in exploring the interface between legal, social, cultural and moral aspects of reproduction--at the level of the individual and of the nation--as well as how laws, policies and norms of reproduction affect the experiences of individuals as reproductive subjects. Erica has published widely on these themes as well as the related topics of abortion activism, reproductive justice, and gendered identity formation.

Erica’s multidisciplinary expertise is reflected in her teaching portfolio. She taught gender studies, sociology, socio-legal studies, development studies and history across several universities in Victoria before moving to the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Gender Studies at the University of Adelaide in 2015.

Erica can supervise theses on pregnancy and reproduction in disciplines across the humanities and social sciences as well projects on the more general areas of gender theory, the sociology of inequalities, critical race studies and settler colonialism.

In her first research monograph, Happy Abortions: Our Bodies in the Era of Choice (London: Zed Books, 2017), Erica offers a fresh account of abortion in the neoliberal present, interrogating a new commonsense that is simultaneously ‘pro-choice’ and ‘anti-abortion’. The book argues that although there is a trend towards decriminalising abortion in the Anglophone West and it would prove unpopular to compel all pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to term, the idea that abortion could or should be a happy experience for women is virtually unrepresentable in the current socio-political landscape. Instead, an array of negative emotions—particularly grief, shame, regret and distress—dominate the representational terrain of abortion. The book examines the legal, political, cultural, social and experiential effects of the emotions that circulate alongside representations of abortion, looking at how they secure normative identities, relationships of privilege and disadvantage, and construct exclusionary visions of the nation and national belonging. In doing so, the book explores the power infused in the cultural politics of abortions on two levels: in relation to identity formation on one hand and the formation of national communities on the other. Happy Abortions has been described by Sinéad Kennedy of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment as ‘A provocative and important book that every pro-choice advocate should read.’

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 Co-Supervisor Challenging Masculinities: The Internationisation and Performance of Masculinities Among Filipino Men During Internal Displacement Due to Armed Conflict Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jennefer Lyn Lagria Bagaporo
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2014 - 2016 Representative Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association Australia
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133277
  • Email:
  • Fax: 8313 6309
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 1
  • Room: 1 35
  • Org Unit: Sociology, Criminology & Gender Studies

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