I’m an assistant professor located in the Emerging Media and Communication Program at the University of Texas at Dallas, where I work on the intersections of media, health, and digital culture. My forthcoming book, Communicative Biocapitalism: Mediating the Voice of the Patient in Digital Health (University of Michigan Press), examines how digital media, capitalist medicine, and networked platforms are effecting how people think about and narrate health and illness. I consider a host of media – among them literature, social-networking sites, and biodigital devices – to compose a full portrait of that effect, and my analysis of these media demonstrates how gender, race, and disability inform the value that capitalism locates in “the voice of the patient” today. In scrutinizing that voice, I show that the shift to digital health technologies will require the fields traditionally concerned with honoring “the voice of the patient” – narrative medicine and medical humanities in particular – to rethink some of their cornerstone principles, including how they approach and interpret texts, if they are to address how digital media newly constrain who speaks, and what they say.
I’m working on two other projects: the first, on the commodification and surveillance of women’s health and illness online; the second, on the history of mental health technologies. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my new digs at UTD, where I’ve joined a fantastic array of scholars and practitioners, and I get to teach and collaborate with equally fantastic students. Look out for EMAC 2322, where we’ll be bringing the noise!
In my teaching, I’m interested in implementing digital technologies to help students explore not only our present but also the past. To this end I’ve developed an online exhibit around the history of medical records, which students can use to explore the changing nature of doctor/patient interactions, to think about how best to represent data about the body — both for doctors’ purposes as well as for patient satisfaction — and to learn the history of medicine itself.
I’m also a member of Medical Futures Lab, a group of innovative scholars, artists, hackers, and physicians engaged in disrupting medical education. I blog for them; you can read a few posts here and here.