I hold the Julia Gregg Brill Professorship of Women's Studies and English at The Pennsylvania State University. For 2010-2011 I served as Acting Director of the STS Program. In 2001 I was scholar in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center (2001), and I have served as Visiting Distinguished Fellow, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia (1992), and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Melbourne, Australia (1990-91). With Ian Williams I co-edit the Graphic Medicine book series at Penn State University Press, I serve as Executive Board Member and Past President of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, and member of the Advisory Board of SymbioticA. A member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Medical Humanities and the Penn State Press, I co-directed (with Anne Hunsaker Hawkins) a National Endowment for the Humanities Sumner Institute on "Medicine, Literature and Culture" at the Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center in 2002. I am part of the Planning Group of the International Conference on Comics and Medicine, which had its first conference in London (June 2010), its second conference in Chicago (June 2011), its third conference in Toronto (July 2012) and is at work on its fourth conference--date and location soon to be announced. See my website for a list of my books and articles, please.
Areas of Specialization
- Modernist Studies
I have published on Virginia Woolf, modern women writers and the city, Aldous and Julian Huxley, and modern science fiction writers from Wells to Wyndham. My current work in the area focuses on the feminist implications of modern biology, particularly the work of C.H. Waddington on epigenesis.
- Contemporary Literature
Currently I am working on comics and medicine. I teach a graduate seminar on comics, I am co-editing a series at Penn State Press called Graphic Medicine, and I am co-authoring a book tentatively entitled Graphic Medicine Manifesto.
- Rhetoric and Composition
I 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, and agricultural studies. In Feminist Theory, I teach a doctoral seminar on "Feminist Theory of the '60s and '70s." I also teach 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).
- 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