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Rishi Goyal is Director of the Medical Humanities 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 Narratology, Aktuel Forskning, Litteratur, Kultur og Medier, and The Los Angeles Review of Books among other places.
Arden Hegele is Lecturer in the Discipline of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she also teaches in the Medical Humanities major at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She received her PhD from Columbia in 2016 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities. Dr. Hegele’s book, Romantic Autopsy (Oxford UP), 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 many other scholarly publications.
Lilith Todd is a Ph.D. candidate in Columbia University’s Department of English and Comparative Literature, where she is studying 17th- and 18th-century British and Transatlantic literature. Broadly, her research interests include representations of maternity, households, and bodily sensations, the histories of nursing, sex work, and surrogacy, and the various flows of water, bodily fluids, and poetics. Before coming to Columbia, she received her B.A. in English (with honors) and in History from Brown University. Contact Lilith by email .
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James Belarde (Mind, Brain and Behavior) 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.
Emilie Egger (Science, Technology and Medicine) is a PhD candidate in History and Public Health 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.
Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) (Disability) 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 Synapsis: A Journal of Health Humanities, Public Books, Lapham’s Quarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, and Hypertext, as well as in two chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019) and Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020). [travisclau.com]
Phyllisa Smith Deroze, PhD, (Book Reviews) is an independent scholar in Literature, Health Humanities, and Black Feminism. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a doctorate in English Literature, she worked as a professor in the USA and the UAE for ten years. In 2013, she received a Fulbright to the UAE where she studied the connections between Arab feminism and Womanism. In 2021 she became the Director of Research for a diabetes research company and spends her days helping improve the lives of people with diabetes. Additionally, she is a diabetes lifestyle blogger and global patient advocate. She enjoys creative and academic writing. Her recent publications include The Daily News Blues (A flash fiction story highlighting the intersectionality of COVID-19, mental health, and disability), Laughing to Keep from Dying: Black Americans with Diabetes in Sitcoms and Comedies (An academic book chapter about the representation of Black Americans in TV and Film), and she is working on a memoir about black maternity health. Contact Phyllisa by email.
Anna Fenton-Hathaway (Theory and Practice) earned her doctorate in English literature from Northwestern University and was one of the first graduate affiliates of Northwestern’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program. As a lecturer in the Chicago Field Studies program at Northwestern, she taught courses on social justice and civic engagement to undergraduate student-interns. More recently she worked with graduate students from different disciplines to explore the relationship between expertise and engagement in their respective fields. Anna has offered a “Bioethics and Speculative Fiction” seminar for medical students at the Feinberg School of Medicine for several years, and her work on dystopia will appear in the edited collection Culture and Medicine: Critical Readings in the Health and Medical Humanities (forthcoming from Bloomsbury). She has been the managing editor of the humanities journal Literature and Medicine since 2013. Contact Anna by email.
Claire Litt (History of Medicine) 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.
Michelle Munyikwa (Race and Ethnicity) received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 and is a current resident in combined internal medicine & pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2019, she earned her PhD in anthropology. She works at the intersection of medical and political anthropology, examining the interactions of trauma, history, and the law in practices of care in the United States. Her book project in progress, The Spatial Promise of Refuge, explores these questions in the context of Philadelphia. As a dedicated educator and mentor, she is interested in bridging the critical medical humanities and social sciences with medical education at all levels. Contact Michelle by email.
Diana Novaceanu (Arts and Creativity) is an MD and PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at the University of Bucharest. Her dissertation focuses on the clinical imaginary represented in contemporary works of visual arts. Her research interests include the evolution of artist-physician collaborative practices, as well as use of medical imaging in contemporary artworks and their social implications on a global level. She is also a freelance curator.
Dr. Brian J. Troth (Gender, Sex, and Relationships) 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.
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.
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.
Michael Carriere is a Professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering University, where he teaches courses on American history, public policy, political science, environmental studies, and urban design. He has written for such publications as the Journal of Planning History, the Journal of Urban History, Cultural History, Reviews in American History, Punk Planet, Pitchfork.com, and Salon.com. He is the co-author, with David Schalliol, of The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America (The University of Chicago Press, 2021). He holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago. Contact Michael 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.
Jonathan C Chou is a poet and third-year resident physician in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. He obtained his M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University prior to attending the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Clinically, he is interested in Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander mental health, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and group psychotherapy. Drawing on reading in psychoanalytic theory, critical race theory, experimental poetry of the Asian diaspora, and Asian American literary criticism, his work across disciplines and genres explores the interface of diasporic Asian identity and mental health. He recently completed his first chapbook of poetry, titled Pomes. Contact Jonathan 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.
Julia Dauer is an Assistant Professor of English at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, where they teach classes focused on American literature before 1900, the health humanities, and the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and environment. They completed a PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 and were a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia for the 2019-2020 academic year. Their writing has appeared or is forthcoming in venues including Early American Literature, Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Climate and American Literature, Edge Effects, Entropy, and #TeachingC19. Contact Julia by email.
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.
Brynn Fitzsimmons (she/her) is a third-year PhD student in English – Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Kansas. Her research interests include the rhetoric of health and medicine, activist and public rhetorics, and community writing. She also works with Independent Media Association, a citizen journalism project based in Kansas City, Missouri. Contact Brynn 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.
Gerpha Gerlin is an anthropology PhD/MPH student & Science in Human Culture Cluster Fellow at Northwestern University. As of fall 2021, she has begun volunteering with the University’s Prison Education Program as co-director of student wellness. Gerpha works on issues related to psychiatric disease and disablement, identity politics, knowledge-production economies, and implementation science. She is crafting a multi-sited dissertation project that critically engages aspects and consequences of custodial care for psychiatric consumers, survivors, and ex-patients who have lost (or “forfeited”), and are trying to recover, the ability to participate fully and freely in the world. Contact Gerpha by email.
Cherie Henderson is a doctoral candidate in communications at Columbia University. Her dissertation looks at how the Western triumph story of illness informs contemporary end-of-life narratives. She has also worked at the intersection of death and humor. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia in narrative medicine and was a faculty associate, fieldwork supervisor and post-graduate fellow in that program. She has initiated and led writing workshops for patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer center. Earlier, she was a staff editor and reporter at The Miami Herald and The Associated Press. Other publications include Self magazine, Columbia Magazine and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine. Contact Cherie by email.
Tianyuan Huang is a PhD candidate in Japanese history at Columbia University. Her research examines how gender ideologies shape the coevolution of traditional medicine and medical science, and vice versa. From the perspective of agnotology, the study of ignorance, Tianyuan’s dissertation explores responses to women’s subjective and nonspecific health symptoms over the past two centuries of Japanese history, especially how the power dynamic between biomedicine and kanpō, the Japanese adaptation of Chinese herbal medicine, affected the enacting of enigma surrounding the female body. Tianyuan has a background in international politics and public policy, too, and has previously worked as a researcher of international human rights mechanisms and politics for an LGBTI rights organization. She now volunteers as a peer advocate for the Gay Health Advocacy Project and the Women’s Health Advocacy Project at Columbia Health. Contact Tianyuan by email.
Benjamin Hulett is an English and Comparative Literature PhD Candidate at Columbia, studying 18th and 19th Century American Literatures. His research focuses on the forms and circulation of ecological, cosmological, and medical knowledge in literature from North America, the Caribbean, and Amazonia. Currently, he teaches a Medical Humanities section of an undergraduate composition course and is writing a dissertation on representations of metamorphosis and time. He received his B.A. in English and Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and an M.A. in English and American Literature from New York University. Contact Ben by email.
Analía Lavin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. Her research focuses on the intersection of scientific culture, spirituality and secularization through the lens of the naturist movement at the turn of the twentieth century in Latin America. She holds an MA in Media Studies from New York University, where she was a Fulbright Fellow, as well as undergraduate degrees from Uruguay (Universidad de la República) and France (Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès). Contact Analía 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.
Tiffany D. Creegan Miller is an assistant professor of Spanish at Colby College. Working across Hispanic and K’ichean (Kaqchikel, K’iche’, and Tz’utujil Maya) literary and cultural traditions, she focuses on contemporary Indigenous studies and decolonial critical theory, with an emphasis on new media, orality and performance, as well as environmental and medical humanities. She is the author of The Maya Art of Speaking Writing: Remediating Indigenous Orality in the Digital Age (forthcoming Spring 2022, University of Arizona Press), and her published work has appeared in the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Hispanic Studies Review, Label Me Latina/o, and the MLA Teaching Series, among other venues. Miller has been actively doing fieldwork in the Guatemalan Highlands since 2010, and as a speaker of Kaqchikel Maya, she is an advisor for Wuqu’ Kawoq: Maya Health Alliance, a medical NGO which provides health care and promotes Indigenous language rights and literacy in Guatemala. Contact Tiffany 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 email@example.com. Contact Sasheenie by email or on Twitter.
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.
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.
Nikita Shepard studies histories of gender, sexuality, race, LGBTQ+ communities, social movements, radical politics, and data and surveillance in the modern United States. They are a PhD candidate in history at Columbia University, writing a dissertation on the history of political struggles over public bathrooms. Their writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Black Perspectives, American Nineteenth Century History, Spectrum South, Reviews in Digital Humanities, RFD Magazine,and the forthcoming University of Washington Press edited volume Queer Data. Contact Nikita 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 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.
Brent Arehart (University of Cincinnati) ’20
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
Sarah L. Berry (State University of New York—Oswego) ’20
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
Jane Desmond (The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) ’20
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
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
Timothy Kent Holliday (McNeil Center for Early American Studies) ’20
Yoshiko Iwai (UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC) ’20
Dr. Chisomo Kalinga (University of Edinburgh) ’20
Dr. Roanne Kantor (Stanford University) ’19
Botsa Katara (Durham University) ’19
Julia Katz (Rutgers University, History) ’17
Sanaullah Khan (Johns Hopkins) ’19
Haejoo Kim (Syracuse University) ’20
Jessica Kirwan (University of Florida) ’20
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
Dr. 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
Dr. Gabi Schaffzin (York University) ’19
Dr. Calloway Scott (University of Cincinnati) ’19
Bassam Sidiki (The University of Michigan) ’20
Bojan Srbinovski (Cornell University) ’20
Lesley Thulin (UCLA) ’19
Emily Wheater (University of Edinburgh) ’19
Yaming You (Duke University) ’20
Past Editorial Staff
Dr. Danielle Drees, Assistant Editor (Boston University), ’20-21
Dr. Liz Bowen, Assistant Editor (Hastings Center), ’18-20
Dr. Lan A. Li, Guest Editor (Rice University), ’18
Naazanene Vatan, Copy Editor (University of Cambridge), ’19
Radhika Patel, Social Media/Copy Editor (Columbia University), ’20
Sourav Chatterjee, Social Media/Copy Editor (Columbia University), ’21
Kimberley Gani, Book Copy Editor (Columbia University), ’20-21
Molly Lindberg, Book Copy Editor (Columbia University), ’21