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Susan Merrill Squier, Ph.D.

Susan Merrill Squier Ph.D.

Brill Professor Emeritus of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-3604

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Stanford University Ph.D. (English) with distinction
  2. Princeton University A.B. (English) Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Bio

For the period between 2016 and 2019, in addition to my regular teaching in English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University, I will be visiting Berlin several times a year as Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Freie Universität, Berlin, where I am collaborating with Professor Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff on the PathoGraphics project: scholarly research, graduate teaching, conferences and exhibitions examining the relations between illness narratives and graphic medicine.

Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

Currently I am working on comics and medicine.  I teach a graduate seminar on comics, I co-edit a series at Penn State Press called Graphic Medicine, and my co-authored volume, Graphic Medicine Manifesto, has just been published by Penn State University Press. In 2015, with J. Ryan Marks, I edited the "Graphic Medicine" special issue of the journal Configurations, of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, on "Graphic Medicine."

Modernist Studies
My current work focuses on the feminist new materialist implications of the concept of the epigenetic landscape (a metaphor/model developed by C.H. Waddington to model individual development.)

My co-authored book, Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Penn State University Press 2015), with Ian Williams, MK Czerwiec, Michael Green, Scott T. Smith, and Kimberly Myers, appeared from Penn State Press in 2015.
Rhetoric and Composition

I also do research and publish on the rhetoric of science, medicine, and disability.  My current work on comics and medicine expands the notion of rhetoric to include visual rhetorics.

Theory and Cultural Studies

I work in a number of different areas that fall under this heading: science studies, literature and medicine, feminist theory and women's studies, disability studies, and agricultural studies. Past courses I have taught (and may teach again) include a doctoral seminar on "Feminist Theory of the '60s and '70s," and a doctoral seminar on "Gender and Science: Reproduction" in which students read foundational works in science studies and engage in laboratory observation as part of an exploration of the concept of reproduction at three scales (the human, the animal, the bacterial) and from several different perspectives/ locations (literary criticism, feminist theory, cultural and science studies, and agricultural studies). For spring 2016 my English graduate seminar is in Comics Studies, with a specific focus on "Graphic Medicine." In Fall 2016 I will be teaching a graduate seminar in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies on "Feminist Cartoonists." I once counted up the number of "studies" I'd been involved in, and came to the conclusion that I am passionate about engaged literary studies: literature for something as well as literature in itself.

Visual Culture

Medical imaging, scientific illustration and digital visualization technologies, agricultural breed illustration, fashion photography, feminist visual culture, graphic novels, cartoons, visual representations of disability: these are all areas in which I am involved in the field of visual culture.  My current book project examines the connections between a specific visual biological model and the realms of comics, landscape architecture, and bio-art and new media.