I’m an assistant professor of Critical Media Studies and Networked Cultures in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. My scholarship and teaching are situated at the intersections of media, health/illness, and digital culture. My book, Communicative Biocapitalism: The Voice of the Patient in Digital Health and the Health Humanities (University of Michigan Press, 2017), examines health and illness in the digital media era. The book scrutinizes how the attention economy, biocapitalist logics, and technofetishism shape patient-networking sites, biodigital devices, and illness narratives, and it demonstrates how gender, race, and disability inform the value that biocapitalism locates in “the voice of the patient.” I make the case that the fields concerned with honoring that voice (narrative medicine and medical humanities in particular) will need to rethink some of their cornerstone principles, including their usual approaches to textual interpretation, if they intend to address how digital media contour “the patient voice.”
You can see my full CV here.
I’m working on two other monographs: a history of mental health media’s role in the management of race, gender, and sexuality and in the construction of treatable populations titled Screening Madness, 1949–2020; and a book that interrogates the dark side of accessibility, called Crip Media.
I’ve also co-edited, with Nathan Carlin and Thomas Cole of the McGovern Center for the Humanities and Ethics at Texas Medical Center, a book on pedagogy, Teaching Health Humanities (Oxford University Press, 2019). With contributions from leading figures and emerging voices in the humanities and health fields, the book maps where such courses are taught, reveals the politics of pedagogy, and models seemingly unorthodox but much-needed ways of using new media in teaching such courses.
I’ve been a member of Medical Futures Lab, a group of innovative scholars, artists, hackers, and physicians in Houston who are thinking about how to change medical education during this time of media transformation. Now, with xtine burrough and Kim Knight, I run the Social Practice and Community Engagement Lab (SP&CE) at UTD; I’m also a co-organizer of the Feminist Research Collective. I’m on Twitter, mostly to disseminate information to my students, at @Olivia_Banner.