My research explores the rhetorical traffic between science, medicine, and public culture. I work equally in the rhetoric of science and the rhetoric of medicine, and my perspective is deeply inflected by the field of disability studies, which contributes social, ethical, and political implications to the questions I ask about the human body and mind.
My book American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming) investigates how representations of psychosurgery in American public culture contributed to its development and decline in American medicine and how collective memory of the operation shapes ethical deliberation about contemporary surgeries for mental illness. With Melissa Littlefield, I have been conducting research on the emergence of neuro-disciplines (such as neuro-anthropology and neuro-aesthetics). We have recently published an essay collection on the topic entitled The Neuroscientific Turn: Transdisciplinarity in the Age of the Brain (University of Michigan Press, 2012).For information on my current projects, please click here.
In addition to my position as a faculty member in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Communication Arts, I am the Director of the Disability Studies Initiative; a faculty affiliate at the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies; and an Honorary Associate Fellow in the Department of Life Sciences Communication.
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