Women & Gender Studies Institute

Sarah Trimble

B.A. (Hon. Summa Cum Laude, English Literature and minor in Women’s Studies,York University; M.A.. (Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, Western University); Ph.D. (English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University).

phone : 416-946-0288

office : 2013

email : s.trimble@utoronto.ca

I engage with the fields of cultural studies, biopolitics, and transatlantic studies in order to think through the gendered, racial, and generational politics of social reproduction.  My work has focused specifically on British and American representations of apocalypse, considering the “new world” fantasies that shape visions of The End: the kinds of violence that such fantasies authorize; the counter-histories of capitalist modernity that they reanimate; and the multiplicity of possible futures that they sometimes open up.

For more information please visit my website.

From infectious zombies to feral children, my research program is currently organized around two book projects.

The first is derived from my dissertation entitled Undead Ends: Contested Re-beginnings in Apocalyptic Film and Television, in which I explore the counter-histories of trans-Atlantic modernity that surface in contemporary apocalyptic visuality. While films such as I Am Legend (2007) and The Road (2009) typically valorize a survivalist ethos premised on claiming territory, annihilating threatening others, and securing reproductive labour, I argue that they can also be read for the ethical, affective, and political alternatives that they inadvertently expose. Apocalyptic visions of crumbling metropolises, wasted landscapes, and abandoned border sites invite genealogical excavations of the lingering counter-histories embedded in their ruins. I demonstrate how such critical excavations reveal the “now” as a space-time of contestation in which suppressed pasts open onto a multiplicity of possible futures.

The next project takes “Broken Britain” as its point of departure. England, August 2011: five nights of looting and burning resulted in more than three thousand arrests and incited a public discourse that fixated on “feral” British youth. In one inflammatory response, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips constructed the riots as “a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour … straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord of the Flies” (August 10, 2011). My research will trace the figure of the menacing youth across selected postwar British texts, ultimately focusing on a relatively new sub-genre in British film: the “hoodie horror.” I aim to shed light on how the current panic around “hoodies” deflects anxieties prompted by twenty-first-century economic crises away from what David Harvey has called “feral capitalism” and onto “feral children.”


Book Chapters:
“(Un)usual Suspects: mothers, masculinities, monstrosities.” Feminist Mothering. Ed. Andrea O’Reilly. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2008. 177-90.

Refereed Articles:
“‘The unreturning army that was youth’: Social Reproduction and Apocalypse in Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy.” Contemporary Women’s Writing 7.1 (2013):73-91.

“Maternal back/grounds in Children of Men: Notes toward an Arendtian biopolitics.” Biopolitics, edited by Sherryl Vint and Mark Bould, a special issue of Science Fiction Film and Television 4.2 (November 2011): 249-70.

“(White) Rage: Affect, Neoliberalism, and the Family in 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.” Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 32.3 (July–August 2010): 295-322.

“Playing Peter Pan: Conceptualizing ‘Bois’ in Contemporary Queer Theory.” Canadian Woman Studies 24.2/3 (Winter/Spring 2005): 75-79.

  • WGS 271Y Gender, Race and Class in Cont.  Pop Culture
  • WGS369F Studies in Post-Colonialism:  Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Contestations
  • WGS 460Y Honours Seminar
  • WGS 334S Special Topics in Women and Gender: Feminism, Zombies, and Survivalism



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