Steering Committee

Steering Committee
  • Rishi K. Goyal

    Director, Medicine, Literature and Society Major, Columbia University

    Rishi K. Goyal is Director of the Medicine, Literature and Society major in the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, and an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department of Columbia University’s Medical Center. Dr. Goyal’s research, writing and teaching focuses on the reciprocal transformation that results when new ideas about health, disease and the body find forms of expression in fiction and memoirs. His most recent work explores the political, aesthetic, and social dimensions of the representation of physical trauma in literature. His writing has appeared in The Living Handbook of Narratology, Aktuel Forskning, Litteratur, Kultur og Medier, and The Los Angeles Review of Books among other places.

  • Anders Juhl Langscheidel Rasmussen

    Associate Professor of Narrative Medicine, University of Southern Denmark

    Anders Juhl Langscheidel Rasmussen is coordinator of and co-teacher in all courses of Narrative Medicine at SDU; director of “Narrative Medicine” in the project Uses of Literature: The Social Dimensions of Literature, led by Rita Felski, Niels Bohr Professor at SDU (2016-2021); and founder (2017-) and head of steering committee for Nordic Network for Narratives in Medicine. He has published articles in Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal, Journal of Research in Sickness and Society, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly and BMJ Medical Humanities. He has edited an anthology in Danish [Read, Write and Heal. Perspectives on Narrative Medicine] at University Press of Southern Denmark (2017) and is currently co-editing a new anthology which is published in Danish and in English [Narrative Medicine in Education and Practice] with contributions from Rita Charon, Ann Jurecic, Ronald Schleifer, Arthur Frank, Rishi Goyal, and Danish researchers. Anders received his PhD in Danish literature from University of Copenhagen.<o:p></o:p>

  • Chisomo Kalinga

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

    Dr Chisomo Kalinga is a Wellcome-funded postdoctoral fellow in the medical humanities at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. She is the founder of the Malawi Medical Humanities Network (, a research network for the medical humanities based in Malawi. Her research interests are disease (specifically sexually transmitted infections), illness and wellbeing, biomedicine, traditional healing and witchcraft and their narrative representation in African oral and print literatures.

  • Michael Klein

    Professor and Director of the Cohen Center for the Humanities, James Madison University

    Michael Klein is an STS scholar, professor, and director of the Cohen Center for the Humanities. His research interests include the configuration and representation of science and technology in popular culture, the cultural and scientific implications of new medical imaging technologies and visualization in medicine, and the development of professional communication pedagogy.  

  • Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

    Professor of Anthropology, University of Pretoria

    Nolwazi Mkhwanazi is Professor of Anthropology at the University of the Pretoria. She joined the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS) in September 2021. Prior to this (2017-2021), she was the Director of the Medical Humanities program at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER), University of the Witwatersrand. Nolwazi is interested in issues relating to life course, kinship and care. While she has also done research on ageing and care, her main focus has been on young people, reproduction, sexuality and gender. In the last 5 years she has been working more broadly with young people regarding issues of sexuality, sex education and sexual health interventions. In this work, her fieldwork sites span across Southern Africa including Botswana and Eswatini, and she has collaborated with people in range of disciplines including fine art, biomedical sciences, public health, demography and other social science disciplines.

  • Hester Oberman

    Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Arizona

    Dr. Hester Oberman’s research focuses on the intersection between spiritual/religious experiences and observable scientific data. Her recent areas of research include religion and violence; the psychology of spirituality; the nature of belief in the twenty-first century; and the influence of faith traditions and spirituality in health care and medicine. She teaches interdisciplinary courses in the Religious Studies Program on religion, psychology, and science, which are crosslisted with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Philosophy. She also teaches for the University of Arizona Honors College. She is Vice-President of the American Academy of Religion in the Western Region (AAR/WR), and a chair of the AAR/WR sections on Philosophy of Religion and Psychology, Culture and Religion. Her current book project is titled Postmodern Perspectives on Mental Health, Spirituality, and Religion.

  • Kathryn Rhine

    Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology, University of Kansas

    Kathryn A. Rhine is a medical anthropologist and associate professor at the University of Kansas. She is editor (with John M. Janzen, Glenn Adams and Heather Aldersey) of Medical Anthropology in Global Africa and her work has appeared in Anthropological Quarterly, Africa Today, and Ethnos.

  • Eileen Gillooly

    Executive Director, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University

    Eileen Gillooly, PhD, is Executive Director of the Heyman Center, and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University. She is the author of Smile of Discontent: Humor, Gender, and Nineteenth-Century British Fiction (1999) and co-edited the volumes Victorian Prism: Refractions of the Crystal Palace (2007) and Contemporary Dickens (2009).

  • Brian Hurwitz

    Director, Centre for Humanities and Health, Kings College London

    Brian Hurwitz is D’Oyly Carte Professor of Medicine and the Arts in the Department of English. He is a medical practitioner affiliated to the Division of Health and Social Care Research, King’s College London, directs the Centre for the Humanities and Health and is a member of the Steering Advisory Board of the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s.

  • Deborah Jenson

    Director, Health Humanities Lab, Duke University

    Deborah Jenson co-directs the Duke Haiti Humanities Lab (with Laurent Dubois), focusing her work on the history of cholera in Haiti and the Caribbean, and mental health issues among survivors of the Haiti earthquake. Her other research areas focus on traumatic stress, cognition and culture and the ethnic identities of African slaves in 18th century Saint-Dominique. She also serves as a Co-Convener of the DIBS/FHI Neurohumanities Research Group. In the summer, she directs Duke in Paris. Her most recent books are a literary history of the Haitian Revolution, called "Beyond the Slave Narrative" (2011, paperback Feb. 2012) and a volume on the global legacies of psychoanalysis: "Unconscious Dominions" (with Anderson and Keller, 2011). Earlier work includes "Trauma and Its Representations," "Sarah (A Colonial Novella" (with Kadish) and "The Haiti Issue" of Yale French Studies. She is writing a book of essays, "Mimesis from Marx to Mirror Neurons." Current collaborative book projects include a biography of Dessalines, a volume of the letters of Toussaint Louverture, and an edition of an 18th century Creole opera.

  • John McGowan

    John W. and Anna H. Hanes Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina

    John McGowan, PhD, is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of Graduate Studies as well as the Institute of Arts and Humanities at UNC Chapel Hill. His work and writings combine philosophy, political theory, and cultural criticism. He has won numerous awards for teaching and is the author/editor of numerous books including Democracy's Children: Intellectuals and the Rise of Cultural Politics (2002) and American Liberalism: An Interpretation for Our Time (2007).