I am a Senior Lecturer and Assistant Graduate Director in the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. I hold a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as 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. My research has been supported by the Department of English Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2018), Thomas F. Ferdinand Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2017), Rebekah F. Kirby Dissertation Fellowship (Spring 2017), and Eliason Dissertation Fellowship (Summer 2016). A portion of the project will appear in Literature and Medicine in April 2019.
While at UNC, I helped to found the HHIVE Lab where I worked on interdisciplinary research and pedagogical projects that bridge traditional disciplinary and hierarchical boundaries. I was the Study Coordinator for the Falls Narrative Study (2015-2016), which 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 recently published a co-authored article about health humanities undergraduate research exposure in the Journal of Medical Humanities.
I currently teach 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). I have also taught Introduction to American Literature (Spring 2016), Introduction to Fiction (Fall 2016), and Introduction to Composition & Rhetoric (8 sections, 2012-2017); lead recitation sections as a TA for Literature, Medicine, and Culture (Spring 2015) and 20th Century American Literature (Fall 2014); lead discussion groups in the Medical School (2013-2016); and served as member of the Peer Mentoring Committee for two terms (2015-2017).