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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

Susan Merrill Squier

Curriculum Vitae


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

Professional Bio

Since 2016 I have been 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

My most recent publication is Epigenetic Landscapes: Drawings as Metaphor, from Duke University Press (2017).I also do research on comics and medicine. My co-edited collection with Irmela Marei Krüger-Fürhoff, PathoGraphics: Narrative, Aesthetics, Contention, Community, is forthcoming from Penn State University Press. I co-edit a series at Penn State Press called Graphic Medicine, and my co-authored volume, Graphic Medicine Manifesto, was published by Penn State University Press in 2015. 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."

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

While at Penn State, I worked 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. My teaching included 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).
My final graduate seminars were in Comics Studies, with a specific focus on "Graphic Medicine." In Fall 2016 I taught a graduate seminar in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies on "Feminist Cartoonists," and in Spring 2016 I taught a seminar on "Graphic Medicine." 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.