Want to write for Synapsis? Send us a pitch.



Rishi Goyal is Director of the Medicine, Literature and Society major in the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department of Columbia University’s Medical Center. Dr. Goyal’s research, writing and teaching focuses on the reciprocal transformation that results when new ideas about health, disease and the body find forms of expression in fiction and memoirs. His most recent work explores the political, aesthetic, and social dimensions of the representation of physical trauma in literature. His writing has appeared in The Living Handbook of NarratologyAktuel Forskning, Litteratur, Kultur og Medier, and The Los Angeles Review of Books among other places.

Arden Hegele is a Medical Humanities Fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities and a Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She received her PhD from Columbia in 2016. Dr. Hegele’s book-in-progress investigates how British Romantic literature is transformed on a formal level by the era’s medical discoveries in pathology and psychiatry. Her work has appeared in Public Books, European Romantic Review, Romanticism, Partial Answers, and other scholarly publications.

Assistant Editor

Danielle Drees is a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance at Columbia University, where she researches gender and labor in 20th and 21st century theatre. Her dissertation examines sleep in a transnational archive of contemporary performances, including experimental plays and opera, participatory performance art, and global Shakespeare. This project argues that sleep onstage not only critiques inhuman economic arrangements but also imagines myriad new social configurations that value rest over work. Danielle’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Frontiers, Performance ResearchTheatre Journal, and The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. She has taught undergraduate classes in dramatic literature, writing, and gender and sexuality studies and currently holds a fellowship at Columbia’s Dissertation Writing Studio. Contact Danielle by email.

Copy Editor: Radhika Patel

Book Copy Editor: Kimberley Gani

Social Media Editor: Malvika Jolly tweets @synapsisjournal

Site Designer: Lan A. Li

Meet our Contributors-in-Residence


Sam Allen Wright is an Assistant Professor of English at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, IA. Her research focuses on 20th and 21st century American literature, disability studies, and the healthcare humanities. Allen Wright’s recent monograph, American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion (Emerald Publishing, 2020) explores the importance of illness narratives in American literature. Contact Sam by email.

Brent Arehart is a PhD candidate in Classics at the University of Cincinnati who specializes in ancient medicine. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between medical ideation and sexual dysfunction in Greco-Roman antiquity, particularly during the first several centuries of the Common Era. He has previously written on the subject of sexually stimulative substances in Pharmacy in History, and in his spare time he updates WordDoctors.org, a site dedicated to bibliographical resources for the study of primary medical texts in Greek and Latin. He is also broadly interested in the history of the life sciences, music, and gardening. Contact Brent by email.

James Belarde is an MD/PhD candidate in the neurobiology program at Columbia University with a clinical interest in pediatric neurology. He began performing standup comedy in college and, since 2010, has trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City as a student in their Advanced Study Programs for both improv and sketch comedy. Since beginning medical school, James continues to perform in the city and has developed an interest in exploring the intersection between humor and medicine. He currently co-teaches an improv workshop for medical students, and his creative writing has been included in The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine, as well as on the front of various refrigerators owned by his mom over the years. Contact James by email.

Sarah L. Berry, PhD, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at State University of
New York—Oswego. She is the author of essays on medicine, gender, race, and
cultural history that have appeared most recently in Research Methods in the Health
Humanities, Journal of Medical Humanities, Mosaic
, the essay collections Black Bodies
and Transhuman Realities
and From Reading to Healing, and online at The Millions
and the National Library of Medicine. She serves on the Health Humanities
Consortium steering committee, co-chairing its Curriculum and Assessment
Subgroup. She co-authors the annual report Health Humanities Baccalaureate
Programs in the United States. Her book in progress is titled Patient Revolutions:
Health and Social Justice in America from Abolition to the Affordable Care Act
. Contact Sarah by email.

After practicing law in California and Alabama, Dr. Kate Bolton Bonnici received her MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside, and her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she currently teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing. Her essays and poems have appeared in Arts & Letters, the Southern Humanities Review, the Examined Life Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her poetry collection, Night Burial, won the 2020 Colorado Prize for Poetry and will be published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University in November. Contact Kate by email.

John Carranza is pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on the history of medicine, disability history, and gender and sexuality in the United States. John taught survey courses on Texas, the United States, and World History at San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word before he arrived in Austin. He also spent over ten years working as a care provider and case manager for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, John writes for the Faculty Fellows Seminar on “Health, Well-Being, Healing” with the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas. He has contributed entries to Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History and written for UT’s public history website, Not Even Past. Contact John by email.

Mikaela Chase is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research examines the expression of moral agency in a voluntary fast until death known as sallekhana or santhara among the Jain community in India. Her dissertation will consider the contemporary practice of this fast, including its prevalence among lay women, as well as how extreme asceticism in this way of dying has been contested in the Indian Supreme Court and exceeds existing discourse on constitutional ethics around life. Mikaela’s research interests include ethical and biopolitical questions of agency in death and dying, palliative and end of life care, law, self, suicidality, women, and spirituality in/and secularity. Her work has been supported by the Wenner Gren Foundation and the American Institute of Indian Studies. Contact Mikaela by email.

Aisha Chughtai is a PhD/MPH candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the phenomenology, epistemology, and environmentalisms of health, disease, and society to explore how health policy and infrastructure translate into the practices and experiences of everyday life. Aisha is interested in questions of medical, political, and economic anthropology, focusing specifically on bioethics, science and technology, and capitalism as they relate to health, the body, and well-being. For her dissertation, Aisha is currently working on a project that studies vaccine production, access, and hesitancy practices. Contact Aisha by email.

Jane Desmond, Ph.D., is Professor of Anthropology and of Gender/Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is also Affiliated Faculty with the Unit for Critical Theory and Interpretation, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, where she teaches courses on the social, political and ethical dimensions of Veterinary Medicine. The author or editor of five academic books, including Displaying Death and Animating Life, she has also written for national publications like Scientific American, Newsweek and CNN.com.  She directs the new Human-Animal Studies Initiative at Illinois, and is a member of the UIUC Medical Humanities Research cluster.  Her current book project, tentatively titled When the Patient is  a Dog, analyzes differences in human and animal medicine. Contact Jane by email or on Twitter.

Sara DiCaglio is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University, where she teaches courses in the rhetoric of health and medicine, feminist science studies, and health humanities. In addition to a dual PhD in English and Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University, she holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan. Her scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Body & Society, Feminist Theory, and Peitho. Her current book project, tentatively entitled Tracing Loss: Feminist Anatomies of Reproduction, Miscarriage, and Time, argues for a reintegration of reproductive loss into models of pregnancy in order to broaden our cultural discourse surrounding reproductive justice and maternal-fetal health. Contact Sara by email, on her website, or on Twitter.

Emilie Egger is a PhD candidate at Yale University whose research focuses on eugenics and family planning in Latin America and the United States. Her dissertation follows the aftermath of a family-limitation campaign in Peru during the 1990s in the context of the global shift toward socially conservative reproductive policy after decades of population-control efforts. Emilie also holds a master’s degree in women’s history from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was the recipient of the Gerda Lerner Prize in Women’s History in 2014. Contact Emily by email.

Mia Florin-Sefton is a second-year PhD Candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her research examines the interface of cultural production and the discriminatory logics of biocapitalism; with specific attention to questions of gender, sexuality, race, age and disability. Before coming to Columbia she worked as a Curatorial Assistant on an exhibition on science fiction at the Barbican Centre, London; and from 2015-16 she was a Thouron Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. At present she is the graduate fellow for the Queer Studies Working Group at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference; and is working towards a certificate in Teaching Feminist Theory at the Institute for Research in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Contact Mia by email.

Timothy Kent Holliday is an early American historian, with a focus on histories of the body. Having earned his PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020, he is currently a research associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. His dissertation examined the role of intimacy during epidemic disease crises in Philadelphia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His work has appeared in Nursing Clio and Smithsonian Magazine. Contact Timothy by email or on Twitter.

Yoshiko Iwai is a writer from Japan who received her MS in Narrative Medicine and MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University. She is currently an MD student at UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. She has facilitated narrative medicine workshops at Columbia University and NYU School of Medicine and has taught creative writing at a correctional center in New York City. Her research focuses on oncologic care for incarcerated individuals. She is published in Scientific American, The Lancet, Academic Medicine, Journal of Medical Humanities, and Columbia Journal. Contact Yoshiko by email, on her website, or on Twitter.

Dr Chisomo Kalinga is a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh. Her current research project is titled ‘Ulimbaso ‘You will be strong again’: How literary aesthetics and storytelling inform concepts of health and wellbeing in Malawi’.  She is currently collaborating with her colleagues at the University of Malawi and the Malawi University of Science and Technology to launch the Malawi Medical Humanities Network (MMHN), an interdisciplinary network for Malawiana researchers around the world to share events, programmes, projects and exhibitions that explore the link between health and the humanities. Contact Chisomo by email, on her website, or on Twitter

Haejoo Kim is a PhD candidate in English at Syracuse University. Her dissertation, “Medical Liberty and Alternative Health Practices in Nineteenth-Century Britain,” traces the rise of the notion of medical liberty by examining cultural representations of alternative health practices in nineteenth-century Britain, such as anti-vaccination, the cold water cure, and vegetarianism. Her book chapter “From Happy Individuals to Universal Sisterhood: Affective Reforms in All sorts and Conditions of Men and Children of Gibeon” in Walter Besant: The Business of Literature and the Pleasures of Reform came out in 2019 from Liverpool University Press. She is a recipient of the 2020 Curran Fellowships from the Research Society of Victorian Periodicals. As a public health humanities scholar, she uncovers the lasting legacy of anti-medical-expertise in the American imagination of agency and selfhood, a legacy that mounts significant challenges to public health today. Contact Haejoo by email.

Jessica Kirwan is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida Department of English specializing in nineteenth-century British literature about medicine and the history of medicine. Her current research focuses on the myths, metaphors, and images associated with women’s health in popular British literature of the long nineteenth century, which, through various dialectics, reflected and challenged prevailing medical and imperial discourses. Jessica is also Assistant Director of Research for the University of Florida Department of Radiation Oncology where she coordinates outcomes studies and manages publications for the physician faculty. In addition, she serves as Managing Editor of the International Journal of Particle Therapy, an open access peer-reviewed journal on radiation therapy. Contact Jessica by email.

Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) is Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. His research and teaching focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, and disability studies. Alongside his scholarship, Lau frequently writes for venues of public scholarship like Lapham’s Quarterly, Public Books, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Barren Magazine, Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, and The New Engagement, as well as in two chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019) and Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020 forthcoming). Contact Travis by email or visit his website.

Claire Litt is a PhD Candidate in the department of history at Queen’s University, Canada. Her dissertation focusses on the Medici women’s uses of precious stones and minerals in health and beauty recipes during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. By examining women’s cosmetic and alchemical activities through the prism of a specific material, stones, this project hopes to use detailed historical research to expand scholarship’s understanding of the pluralistic practices that characterized early modern medicine and their links with contemporary theories on art and beauty. This research also aims to follow in the field’s ongoing reexamination of the types of people and activities that contributed to medicine in early modern Italy. More broadly, Claire’s research interests include the history of science and medicine in early modern Italy, material culture, and women’s history. These topics will be explored in the  seminar course she will teach in 2021on the history of healing in the Mediterranean leading up to the scientific revolution. Contact Claire by email.

Melissa (Mel) Maldonado-Salcedo is a medical anthropologist, experimental ethnographer, and artist. Mel’s research examines embodied identities within community affirming rituals and the subsequent relationships with storytelling, reimaginations of citizenship, and family. She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in Anthropology in 2016, with a specialization in gender and sexuality studies and queer studies. She is an associate research scholar at New York University in the department of Anthropology and an instructor at the Tandon School of Engineering in the department of Technology, Culture, and Society. Her courses explore the intersection of science and difference, popular culture, and medical ethics. Her current book project focuses on the Argentine diaspora after the economic crisis and their claims to meaning and belonging around conceptualizations of Latinidad. She is co-editor of the upcoming book, Resistance and Liberation in the Voices of Mujerismos: an Eco-Constructive Reading (Lexington Books) which is slated for publication in Spring 2021. Contact Mel by email or on her website

Dr. Madeleine Mant is an anthropologist of health currently lecturing at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her interdisciplinary research, utilizing human skeletal remains and archival documents, investigates how historical health-related events affected the lifestyles and activities of individuals in the past, particularly the poor. Her work has appeared in journals such as International Journal of Paleopathology, Social History of Medicine, and Medical History. Her co-edited volume Bioarchaeology of Marginalized People was published in 2019 with Elsevier Academic Press. Contact Madeleine by email or on Twitter.

Katey Mari is a PhD student in the anthropology program at The University of Pennsylvania with a focus on biocultural anthropology and public health. Her research interests include how the experience of psychosocial stress stemming from historical trauma in mothers can alter immune function and stress reactivity in infants. She is specifically interested in the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma, resilience, and how the experience of racial discrimination reinforces health disparities. Katey received her B.A. in anthropology and public and global health from the University of Georgia in 2019. Contact Katey by email.

Eftihia Mihelakis is Assistant Professor of French Literature and Feminist Studies at Brandon University. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Université de Montréal. Her research interests include 20th and 21st c. French and Québécois Literature, post-structuralist feminisms, gender theory, and medical humanities. Her first book, La virginité en question ou les jeunes filles sans âge was published by the Presses de l’Université de Montréal in 2017. Her research has appeared inTangence, Captures, and Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Her creative work has appeared in MuseMedusa, Françoise Stéréo, and Spirale. Contact Eftihia by email.

Sasheenie Moodley is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford. Sasheenie strives to mix Social Policy & Intervention and African Studies for her qualitative work in South African townships. Her research focuses on understanding lived experiences of pregnant youth living with HIV. Email Sasheenie at sasheenie.moodley@area.ox.ac.uk. Contact Sasheenie by email or on Twitter.

Michelle Munyikwa is a student in the MD program at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology in 2019, also from the University of Pennsylvania; her dissertation focused on humanitarian practices of care for refugees and asylum seekers in Philadelphia. She is interested in bridging the critical medical humanities and social sciences with medical education at all levels. Contact Michelle by email.

Pauline Picot is a PhD candidate in Theater Studies at the Université Lumière Lyon 2. Her thesis is titled “Magnétisme, électricité, spiritisme : imaginaire du fluide dans le théâtre du XIXe siècle” [Magnetism, electricity, spiritualism: on the imaginary representations of fluid in French XIXth century theatre]. She is also a published playwright and poet. Contact Pauline by email.

Amala Poli is a literary scholar interested in exploring the intersections between medicine and literature. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western University, Ontario. She holds an MA in English Studies from the Manipal Centre for Humanities, MAHE, situated in Karnataka, India, with an interdisciplinary orientation to philosophy and sociology. Her research focuses on the expression of the self in medical memoir, and the possibilities of re-imagining the spectrum of health through reading medical memoirs. She is also a freelance writer and an editor of academic papers. Her forthcoming book, set for release by the Manipal Universal Press in 2019, is a study of personal narratives that engage with notions of health and illness. Contact Amala by email.

Sara Press is a PhD candidate in English Literature and Science and Technology Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her work in postcolonial theory is grounded in a critique of Western knowledge construction and the socio-medical classifications that hierarchize bodies. Her research explores how intersecting modes of oppression limit people in their physical and rhetorical abilities, as well as how the standardization of medical bodies has been used to reinforce a Eurocentric ideal of health, for both the individual and the nation. Sara is currently on a two-year Visiting Fellowship in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Contact Sara by email.

Nitya Rajeshuni is a pediatrics resident at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania interested in palliative medicine, acute care, and global health.  She obtained her MD and MS in Epidemiology and Clinical Research from Stanford University.  She comes from an extensive performing arts background, trained formally in Indian Classical dance, classical piano, and vocal music and has participated in various musical theater, dance, choral, and a capella groups over the years.  In medical school, she was a featured vocalist in the viral parody music video “Dear Future Doctor” and since then, has contributed vocals to various projects including Sam Neher’s album Circle of Friends now on Spotify.  Since entering medicine, she has rediscovered her childhood love for writing and developed an interest in using the arts to examine the humanistic aspects of medicine. Contact Nitya by email or on Twitter.

Steven Rhue is a PhD Student in Anthropology and member of the Human Biological Anthropology Laboratory (HBAL) at the Ohio State University. With interdisciplinary training as a bio-cultural anthropologist and public health professional, Steven’s research emphasizes the interplay between humans as bio-cultural entities and their environment as well as its impact on human health and well-being. His doctoral research concerns children’s lived experiences and perceptions of household water (in)security in the Urban Amazon of Brazil. Contact Steven by email or on Twitter.

Rebecca M. Rosen is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University, specializing in Anglophone American literature to 1865, Native American literature, and the medical humanities. She has received fellowships and grants from research institutions including the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, the Smithsonian’s Dibner Library of Science, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Her book project, Postmortem Life: Anatomy, Autopsy and Testimony in Early America, considers how the voices of deceased people were extracted, interpreted, or stifled through forensic means, and how such practices formed the basis of an autoptic culture of testimonial retrieval in early America and the larger Atlantic world. This study demonstrates how postmortem practices illuminate conceptions of the deceased body as subject, object, and witness, and how such formulations contributed to the development of life writing. Contact Rebecca by email.

Noah K. Rosenberg, MD is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a National Institute of Health research fellow. He responded to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa and subsequently completed a Fellowship in Bioethics at the Harvard Center for Bioethics in 2016, focusing on global health bioethics. For two years he served as faculty for the University of Rwanda’s first training program in emergency medicine and as program director oversaw the first graduating class in 2018. He was recently the Andrew Markus Visiting Scholar at the University of Oxford, Ethox Centre. His work has been published in the Hastings Center Report and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, among others. Contact Noah by email.

Sarah Roth is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research explores cancer care and history of the body in the United States and Mexico. An avid reader and writer, Sarah holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Notre Dame. She is currently a Graduate Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine. Contact Sarah by email.

Dr Jac Saorsa is a visual artist and writer based in Cardiff, U.K. She works primarily in the medical field at the intersection of art and biomedical science. Her work is rooted in a specifically adapted autoethnographic approach and focuses on articulating patient experience through a creative synthesis of word and image. Jac is currently a PhD candidate in Creative and Critical Writing at Cardiff University and her thesis, entitled “Awakening Monsters,” explores our conceptualizations of mortality. The project draws on Jac’s work with cancer patients, and on her experience, as an anatomist, of cadaveric dissection. Contact Jac by email.

Steve Server is an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Chicago.  His PhD is in the Department of History and the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science.  He has interests in the history of medical education, the history of medicine and public health in Latin America, psychiatry, and the medical humanities. Contact Steve by email.

Bassam Sidiki is a writer and scholar from Pakistan. He is currently the Nonfiction Editor at Asymptote and a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Michigan. He works in the fields of colonial and postcolonial literature, global health humanities, and disability studies. His scholarship is forthcoming in the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies and elsewhere. Contact Bassam by email or on Twitter.

Bojan Srbinovski is a doctoral candidate in Cornell University’s English Department. He studies the relationships between Romanticism and trauma, the histories of mourning and bereavement, and the impact of Christian hermeneutics on our understanding of the body. His dissertation, titled “Figures of Catastrophe,” explores “catastrophe” as an overlapping name for dramatic upheaval and traumatic collapse as it appears in the writings of several nineteenth-century British authors. Contact Bojan by email.

Originally from Kettering, Ohio, Pasquale S. Toscano is an aspiring academic and writer, especially on disability, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Vox, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He was an undergraduate student at Washington and Lee University and then pursued graduate studies in English (1550-1700) and Classics at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Currently a Ph.D. student at Princeton, Pasquale specializes in early modern literature—especially Milton—and centers his research on the antagonism between heroic ambition and corporeal aberrance in the epic tradition. Other interests include the representation of unnatural bodies on the early modern stage, disability studies more broadly, and classical reception. His scholarly work, and creative nonfiction, has been published in Disability Studies Quarterly and is forthcoming in the Huntington Library Quarterly and Classical Receptions Journal. Pasquale has worn hearing aids since age two, and seven years ago, experienced a spinal cord injury which now has him walking with a cane and a brace. Contact Pasquale by email.

Dr. Brian J. Troth is a junior scholar who earned his PhD from the Department of French and Italian at The Ohio State University in the United States. Originally inspired by Freudian theories of trauma and Holocaust studies, Dr. Troth specializes in the representations of HIV/AIDS risk in French film and literature. His dissertation confronted traditional narratives of risk with contemporary changes in risk perception as HIV evolved from a death sentence to a preventable illness. His recent work focuses on risk and responsibility in a post-PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) world and iterations of the digital body and digital spaces in contemporary France. Contact Brian by email.

Dr Avril Tynan is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of comparative literature at the Turku Institute of Advanced Studies in Finland. She is a member of the SELMA Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Narrative, Memory and Histories at the University of Brighton. Her backgrounds are in French literature and Holocaust studies and her current research examines the intersections of narrative and ethics in literary representations of ageing, illness and death. She has recently published articles in the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Storyworlds and Modern Language Review among others, and has contributed to the British Medical Journal’s medical humanities blog, The Polyphony and Instrumental Narratives. Contact Avril by email or on Twitter

Brenda Tyrrell is pursuing a PhD in English Literature and a Women’s and Gender, Race, and Sexuality certificate at Miami University in Ohio. Her research is concerned with creating an historical account of representations of disability in science fiction, beginning with Wells’s The Time Machine. She is also interested in metanarratives of disability, with a focus on HIV and AIDS, and working within African and African-American science fiction. Her most recent articles include, “A World Turned Upside Down: Hop-Frog, Freak Shows, and Representations of Dwarfism” and “A ‘Strange Bird’ In a ‘Strange World”: Ability and Difference in H.G. Wells’s The Wonderful Visit.” In her pre-PhD years, Brenda worked as a Registered Nurse for many years. Contact Brenda by email or on Twitter.

Renée van der Wiel is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Her latest work is based on her doctoral ethnography of South African medical doctors who produce clinical research over and above their duties as healers and teachers. Prior to that she conducted research on breast cancer treatment at a public hospital in Johannesburg.  Currently, Renée is also an event organiser for the Southern and East African Medical and Health Humanities network (SEAMHH) linked to the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER). Once upon a time Renée was a fine art student, and today drawing remains an important aspect of her fieldwork process. Contact Renée by email.

Emily Waples is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Humanities and Director of the Center for Literature and Medicine at Hiram College, where she teaches courses on topics including illness narrative, the history of medicine, health and social justice, and narrative bioethics. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Michigan. Her academic research focuses on discourses of health and the politics of care in nineteenth-century American literature. Contact Emily by email or on Twitter.

Yaming You is a PhD candidate in History at Duke University. Her research focuses on the history of public health in urban settings in Republican China in the first half of the twentieth-century. The political, social, and cultural peculiarities of the Republican era — an age of incessant power struggles between Western-educated intellectuals/revolutionaries, military warlords, and foreign colonial powers— provided a endlessly-changing space within which the relationship between hygiene, nationalism, and modernity was in a state of constant metamorphosis, endlessly debated and negotiated. She is exploring the modern construction of public health as a nation-building effort against this tumultuous historical background and its influence on ordinary citizens’ daily life in a time of unpredictable uncertainty. More importantly, she would like to look at the Japanese colonial empire expanding from Korea to China to Southeast Asia as a critical historical moment against which local medical practices encountered biomedicine in East Asia, and how modern public health infrastructure and concepts developed in this process. Contact Yaming by email.

Past Contributors-in-Residence

Dr. Alicia Andrzejewski (College of William & Mary) ’19

Dr. Livia Arndal Woods (University of Illinois at Springfield, Literature) ’17

Jordan Babando (University of British Columbia) ’19

Lara M. Boyle (Columbia University, Neurobiology and Behavior) ’17

Kathryn Cai (UCLA, English) ’17

Erica Cao (University of Cambridge Centre for Music and Science) ’19

Benjamin Gagnon Chainey (Université de Montréal and Nottingham Trent University, UK) ’19

Neşe Devenot (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine) ’19

Dr. April Edwell (Medicine) and Jennifer Edwell (Literature) (University of North Carolina) ’18

Chuka Nestor Emezue (University Of Missouri Sinclair School Of Nursing) ’19

Dr. Anna Fenton-Hathaway (Northwestern University, Literature) ’17

Kristina Fleuty (Anglia Ruskin University, Veterans and Families Institute) ’17

Josh Franklin (University of Pennsylvania) ’19

Dr. Andrew Godfrey-Meers (University of Dundee, Graphic Medicine) ’17

Liora O’Donnell Goldensher (Virginia Tech) ’19

Darian Goldin-Stahl (Artist-in-Residence) (Concordia University, Humanities) ’18

Dr. Cynthia Harris (Massachusetts General Hospital, Pathology) ’17

Salvador Herrera (UCLA) ’19

Dr. Roanne Kantor (Stanford University) ’19

Botsa Katara (Durham University) ’19

Julia Katz (Rutgers University, History) ’17

Sanaullah Khan (Johns Hopkins) ’19

Bennett Kuhn (Musician-in-Residence) (Creative Resilience Collective, Philadelphia) ’18

Erik Larsen (University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry) ’19

Chia Yu Lien (Washington University in St. Louis) ’19

Sinethemba Makanya (Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research) ’19

Dr. Sneha Mantri (Duke University, Neurology and Narrative Medicine) ’17

Lauren Mitchell (The Doula Project) ’19

Diana Newby (Columbia University) ’19

Ittai Orr (Yale University, American Studies) ’18

Dr. Bríd Phillips (The University of Western Australia) ’19

Kaitlin Price Pontzer (Cornell University) ’19

David Robertson (Princeton University, History) ’18

Gabi Schaffzin (University of California San Diego) ’19

Dr. Calloway Scott (University of Cincinnati) ’19

Lesley Thulin (UCLA) ’19

Emily Wheater (University of Edinburgh) ’19

Past Editorial Staff

Liz Bowen, Assistant Editor (Hastings Center), ’18-19

Lan A. Li, Guest Editor (Rice University), ’18

Naazanene Vatan, Copy Editor (University of Cambridge), ’19