Prof Joanna Latimer
Chair in Sociology, Science & Technology



Professor of Sociology, Science & Technology & Director of the Science & Technology Studies Unit (SATSU), University of York, UK.

Having studied English Literature as an undergraduate, I then trained and worked as a nurse for ten years.  As a medical ward sister, I won a fellowship to do a PhD at Edinburgh, which I completed in 1994, published as The Conduct of Care, shortlisted for the BSA Philip Abram’s Memorial Prize. Having worked at Keele University in Nursing and the Centre for Social Gerontology I took up a lectureship in Sociology at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences in 1999, progressing to chair in 2009.

My research focuses on the cultural, social and existential effects and affects for how science & medicine are done.  I work ethnographically, from the bedside, inside the clinic, across to the laboratory and the home, and back again. Subjects include the new genetics, reproduction, development and ageing.  My work examines everyday processes of inclusion and exclusion, and tracks how people, technologies and other non-humans are assembled and made to mean. I am especially interested in the worlds people make together and the biopolitics they are entangled in and circulate.   

Making contributions at the leading edge of social theory, I have written about the constituting of classesmotility, extension, aboutnessnatureculturescare in biomedicinedwellingthe politics of imaginationbody-world relations and class, often incorporating analyses of writers, such as Philip Larkin, and artists, such as Frida Kahlo and the sculptor Olivia Musgrave.  Currently I am exploring the notion of the Threshold

I have published many articles and books, including The Gene, The Clinic and The Family: Diagnosing Dysmorphology, Reviving Medical Dominance, winner of the 2014 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness annual book prize.  My current work investigates the biology of ageing, and how humanist, trans and post-humanist ideas get played out in the making and unmaking of social worlds. I have held 3 visiting chairs at Sidney University, University of California San Francisco, and the Humanistic University, Utrecht. I am a longstanding member of the editorial board of The Sociological Review, and editor of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness.

I am currently writing a new book for Routledge, Biopolitics and the Limits to Life: Ageing, Biology and Society in the 21st Century, and co-editing two special issues, for New Genetics and Society on contemporary developments in Alzheimer’s research (with Richard Milne & Shirlene Badger) and for TheSociologicalReview entitled Intimate Entanglements (with Daniel Lopez).





2016 - Modelling & Remodelling Ageing: biology, health and society at the Limits of Life.  PI. With Carrie Friese (LSE), Jamie Lewis (Cardiff), Astrid Schrader (Exeter) and Neil Stephens (Brunel). Pending -ESRC

2016 - Biology and Ageing.  With Carrie Friese (LSE).  Pilot for larger grant application to the ESRC.  Funded by University of York Department of Sociology.  (PI)

2013-2018 - ESRC Early Detection of Dementia.  Wales Integrative PhD Programme in Neurodegeneration (WIN) studentships x 5 studentships (Team: Andrew Lawrence & Kim Graham, Psychology & Neuroscience; Adam Hedgecoe, Cesagen; Julie Williams, School of Medicine; and Bob Wood, Sociology, Bangor). (Co-PI)


Latimer J. (2018) Biopolitics and the Limits to Life: Ageing, Biology and Society in the 21st Century. London: Routledge.

Latimer J. (2018) Repelling neoliberal world-making: aging, biopolitics and irresponse-ability InTyler I. & Slater T.(2018) The Sociology of StigmaSociological Review Monograph Series.

Hillman A. & Latimer J. Making the epistemic concrete: Navigating tensions in the fabrication of dementia. For submission to Science Technology & Human Values.

Friese, C. Latimer, J. Lewis, T.  Schrader, A. and Stephens, N. Collaboration and multispecies ethnography: an approach for exploring human and non-human animal relations in how biology and society model and remodel ageing. In: Colombino A & Steinkrueger J. Methods in human-animal studies: the question(s) of the animal(s) in practice. Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series


Selected publications


The Gene, the clinic and the family: diagnosing dysmorphology, reviving medical dominance. London/New York, Routledge. (2013) - Winner 2014 FSHI/BSA Book Prize.

Un/knowing Bodies, Sociological Review Monograph Series. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. (2009)

Edited Special Issues

Latimer, J. & Thomas, G. (eds.) The politics of reproduction and parenting cultures – procreation, pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing, Sociology of Health & Illness, 39 (6), 2017.

Naturecultures: Science, affect and the nonhuman. (with Mara Miele) Theory, Culture and Society, 30 (7-8), 2013.

The Politics of Imagination (with Bev Skeggs) The Sociological Review. 59 (3),2011.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Latimer J. (In press) Repelling neoliberal world-making: aging, dementia and irresponse-ability. In: Tyler I. & Slater T.(2018) The Sociological Review Special issue/ The Sociology of Stigma, Sociological Review Monograph Series.

Hillman, A., & Latimer, J. (2017). Cultural representations of dementia. PLoS Med14(3): e1002274.

Müller, R., Hanson, C., Hanson, M., Penkler, M., Samaras, G., Chiapperino, L., Dupre, J., Kenney, M., Kuzawa, C., Latimer, J., Lloyd, S., Lunkes, A., MacDonald, M., Meloni, M., Nerlich, B., Panese, F., Pickersgill, M., Richardson, S., Rüegg J., Schmitz, S., Stelmach, A., and P.-I. Villa (2017). The Biosocial Genome? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Environmental Epigenetics, Health and Society. EMBO Reports: Science & Society.

Latimer J. & Thomas G. (2015). In/exclusion in the clinic: Down's syndrome, dysmorphology, and the ethics of everyday work in the clinic. Special Issue: Sociologies of Everyday Life. Sociology.49(5):937-954.

Latimer J. & Munro R. (2015). Unfolding Class? Culture, modernity and uprooting.  Special Issue: The Great British Class Survey.  The Sociological Review.  63: 415-432. 

Latimer J. (2013). Being alongside: Rethinking relations amongst different kinds. Theory, Culture and Society, 30: 77-104 & Online First

Latimer J., & Miele M. (2013). Naturecultures? Science, Affect and the Non-human. Theory, Culture and Society, 30: 33-50 Online First

Latimer J. (2013). Rewriting bodies, portraiting persons? The gene, the clinic and the (post)human. Body & Society: 19: 3-31

Latimer, J. (2012). Meadow Arts’ House of Beasts: Reimagining Human & Non-human Animal Relations at Attingham Park. Humananimalia 4(1)

White P., Hillman A., & Latimer J. (2012). Ordering, Enrolling, and Dismissing: Moments of Access Across Hospital SpacesSpace and Culture, 15 (1): 68-87.

Latimer J., & Skeggs B. (2011). The Politics of Imagination: Keeping Open & Critical. In: Latimer J. & Skeggs B. (eds) The Politics of Imagination Special Issue, Sociological Review Monographs, The Sociological Review, 59(3): 393–410.

Latimer J., Bagley, M., Davis T., & Kipling D (2011). Ageing science, health care and social inclusion of older people. Quality in Ageing  & Older Adults, 12(1): 11-16.

Bagley, M., Davis T. Latimer J., & Kipling D. (2011). The contribution of biogerontology to quality ageing. Quality in Ageing  & Older Adults, 12(1): 26-32.


Book Chapters

Latimer, J. (In press). Afterword: Materialities, Care, ‘Ordinary Affects’, Power, and Politics. In: Buse, C., Martin, D. and Nettleton, S. (eds.)  Materialities of Care.  Sociology of Health & Illness Special Issue/ Monograph. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Latimer, J., & Munro, R. (In press). Generalizability. In: The International Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, edited by Celia Lury et al. London: Routledge. 

Latimer J., & Munro R. (2016). About ‘Aboutness’: Extensionality, Dwelling and the Turn to Language In: Letiche H. G. Lightfoot and J.-L. Moriceau (eds.) Demo(s), Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Pp71-84.

Cox, L., Mason P., Bagley M., Steinsaltz D., Stefanovska, A., Bernjak, A., McClintock, P., Phillips, A., Upton, J., Latimer, J., & Davies, T. (2ndAuthor) (2014). Understanding Ageing: Biological And Social Constructions. In: Alan Walker (ed.) The New Sciences of Ageing. Bristol: Polity Press.

Latimer J., & Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2013). Re-Thinking the Ethical: Everyday Shifts of Care in Biogerontology. In:  Priaulx N. & Wrigley A. (eds.) Ethics, Law and Society. Vol. V. (i) Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate. Pp. 153-174.

Latimer, J. (2011). Home, Care and Frail Older People: Relational extension & the art of dwelling. Invited chapter in: Christine Ceci, Mary Ellen Purkis and Kristin Björnsdóttir (eds) Perspectives on Care at Home for Older People. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978 0 415 89590 3 Pp 35-61.

Latimer, J. (2010). Conclusions: Defacing Horror, Realigning Nurses. In: Rudge T. & Homes D (eds.). Abjectly Boundless: Boundaries, Bodies and Health Work.  Ashgate Publishing. Pp 267-274.

Hillman, A., Latimer, J., & White, P.  (2010). Accessing Care: Technology and the Management of the Clinic. In:  Michael Schillmeier  & Miguel Domenech (eds) New Technologies and Emerging Spaces of Care.  Ashgate. Pp: 197-220


Online Posts

Latimer, J. (2017). Becoming-Rendered: On being caught in-between thresholds. Threshold.

Latimer, J. (2017). Slowing things down? The problem of people becoming (in)formed in a world of triggers rather than thresholdsThreshold

Latimer J. & Munro, R. (2017). The Politics of the Threshold: Power, motility, and endless ‘passing’. Thresholds.

Further publications

Joanna new

Contact details

Prof. Joanna Latimer
Chair in Sociology, Science & Technology
Department of Sociology
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 32 4735