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Louis Sass

Lisa Mikesell

Mikesell headshot croppedLisa Mikesell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. She investigates the communication and social practices used to negotiate interactions in a variety of health and mental health contexts. Her work consists of three intertwining threads. The first examines the situated interactional practices of individuals diagnosed with neurological and psychiatric disorders and their carers in community contexts to provide a grounded perspective on competence, everyday functioning and patient engagement. Examining individuals’ involvements in community contexts informs the second thread of her work, which identifies best practices in clinic contexts, providing an ecologically sensitive lens on applications of patient-centeredness, shared decision-making and the use of decision support strategies in clinic communication. The third thread highlights patient engagement in the collective sense by exploring the practices, perceptions and ethics of community-engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR) in public health research. Collectively, her work informs our understanding of best practices, intervention development and implementation and contains a strong applied component, particularly to inquiry in health services.

Catherine Lee

Carla Cevasco

Cevasco Headshot smallCarla Cevasco is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University. She is a historian of food, medicine, and material culture in colonial North America. She is Director of the New Jersey Folk Festival. Her first project, Violent Appetites, is a history of scarcity in early America. Her second project explores plant agency and medicine in the early Atlantic. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Early American Studies and New England Quarterly.  

Areas of interest: colonial North America and the Atlantic World; food; borderlands; material culture; medicine and the body

Joanna Kempner

Kempner picJoanna Kempner, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University and affiliate member of Rutgers’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, works at the intersection of medicine, science, gender, and the body. Her research investigates knowledge production as cultural work, inscribed with and shaped by tacit assumptions about social relations across gender, race, and class. Her first book, Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health (Chicago 2014), examines the social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. She has also written extensively on the formation of “forbidden knowledge,” which are the boundaries that form around what we think is too dangerous, sensitive, or taboo to research. Kempner is currently working on several projects related to the politics of disease, pharmaceutical development, and health care delivery, including a new book manuscript on underground psychedelic drug research.

Professor Kempner received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program and worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University. She has won several awards for her research, including the 2016 American Sociological Association’s Eliot Freidson award for Outstanding Publication in Medical Sociology and the 2016 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology. She writes for a wide variety of audiences, publishing in journals like Science, Social Science & Medicine, Gender & Society, and Public Library of Science Medicine.

Jeanette Samyn

Samyn photoJeanette Samyn received her Ph.D. in English Literature at Indiana University, Bloomington, and her B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her teaching and research interests span British literature, theory, and the environmental and medical humanities, with a focus on environmental theory and nineteenth-century (especially Victorian) literature and science. Her book project, In Praise of the Parasite: Asymmetrical Relations in the British Empire, explains how complex, asymmetrical intimacies were embedded into nineteenth-century notions of "community" and "environment" through the figure of the parasite. In popular science and the realist novel in particular, the parasite was used as a formal mechanism through which writers could imagine relations between organisms as complex, interdependent, and, often, painful. Part of this project, the essay “Cruel Consciousness: Louis Figuier, John Ruskin, and the Value of Insects,” was published in Nineteenth-Century Literature in 2016.

She is also interested in contemporary film, theory, and politics, and has articles published or forthcoming on these subjects for publications such as n+1, The New Inquiry, Dossier, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The American Reader.

Todd Carmody

Carmody Rutgers Photo croppedTodd Carmody is a scholar of late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and African American literature and culture with interests in the history of science and medicine, disability studies, transnational American studies, the sociology of literature, and historicist methods. In addition to being a postdoctoral fellow at the CCA, he is also a 2017-2018 Countway Library Fellow in the History of Medicine at Harvard University and the 2018 Norton Strange Townshend Fellow in American History at the University of Michigan. He has previously held fellowships in the English Department at UC Berkeley, Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. He is presently completing a book entitled Make Work: Uplift and Rehabilitation in Postbellum America.

Amy Zanoni

Zanoni headshot 01Amy Zanoni is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers University. Her research interests include the histories of anti-poverty, labor and feminist movements; the welfare state; and political economy in the late twentieth-century United States. She is currently working on her dissertation, “Poor Health: Retrenchment and Resistance in Chicago’s Public Hospital,” which explores the late twentieth-century attack on the American welfare state and those who fought against it through the microcosm of a single public hospital. Amy holds an MA in Historical Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and a BA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and English from McGill University. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Illinois State Historical Society, and the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Louise Tam

Kathleen Pierce

pierce cca photoKathleen Pierce is a PhD Candidate in the Rutgers Department of Art History whose work considers intersections of art and medicine in France's Third Republic. Her dissertation project, titled "Surface Tension: Skin, Disease, and Visuality in Third Republic France," examines a broad range of objects—from dermatological illustrations and wax-cast moulages, to public health posters and vanguard painting—to understand relationships between visualizations of the surface of the modern body and the surface in modern painting in fin-de-siècle France and its colonies.

Jorie Hofstra

Hilary Buxton

Buxton photoHilary Buxton is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers University.  Her work focuses on comparative histories of the body, race, and medicine in the British Empire.  Her dissertation, “Disabled Empire: Race, Rehabilitation, and the Politics of Healing Non-white Colonial Troops, 1914-1940” traces the intersecting histories of race, the medical sciences, and trauma care during the First World War.  Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Coordinating Council for Women Historians. In 2017-18, she holds a Rutgers SAS Mellon Dissertation Fellowship.

Areas of Interest: Modern Britain, colonial history, history of medicine, history of the body, disability studies.

Nick Allred

20170807 104013Nick Allred is a PhD candidate in the English department at Rutgers University.  His dissertation looks at the relationship between habit and the representation of character in eighteenth-century Britain, chiefly through the lens of the Gin Craze (c. 1720-1751) -- a drug panic that antedates the modern concept of addiction, and attracted the attention of early fiction writers like Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Henry Fielding, and Tobias Smollett.  Nick holds an M.St. from the University of Oxford and has published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (JSAD).


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