I am a Teaching Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literature, Co-Director of the HHIVE Lab, and Associate Director the Literature, Medicine, and Culture M.A. Concentration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I recently returned to UNC, where I earned my Ph.D. in 2018, after a stint as a Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of Graduate Studies at the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. In addition to my Ph.D., I also hold an M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in English from Lebanon Valley College.
My book manuscript, “Our Microbes: Interdependence in American Literature, Science, and Culture, 1880-1920” examines the role that microbes played in the American imagination in the period between germ theory and antibiotics. Extending literary scholarship that focuses on the anxieties and fears provoked by disease-causing germs, the project attends to the fiction writers, bacteriologists, industry leaders, and domestic workers who located utility and possibility in the microbial world. A portion of the project appeared in Literature and Medicine in 2019.
During my graduate training at UNC, I helped to found the HHIVE Lab, which I now co-direct with Jane F. Thrailkill & Jordynn Jack. Together, members of the lab work on interdisciplinary research and pedagogical projects that bridge traditional disciplinary and hierarchical boundaries. For example, the Falls Narrative Study (2016) paired UNC health humanities students with older adults from the community to elicit written narratives about falling down. Along with graduate student and faculty collaborators, I co-authored an article about health humanities undergraduate research exposure that appeared in the Journal of Medical Humanities.
I currently teach courses in health humanities, including Introduction to Methods in Health Humanities (graduate), Writing in Health and Medicine (first-year writing), Introduction to Disability Studies (undergraduate), Healers and Patients (Honors first-year seminar), and the Critical Reflection, Inter-Professional Education, Advanced Communication Skills, and Ethics (RICE) portion of Social Health Systems 4 (medical school). While on the faculty at Vanderbilt University, I taught undergraduate and graduate courses in health humanities, including Introduction to Health Humanities (undergraduate), Narratives of Contagion // Contagious Narratives (graduate seminar), and Interdisciplinary Writing (graduate seminar).