Visiting Scholar Announcements

Taylor, Wendell

Meet Dr. Wendell Taylor

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Wendell Taylor, PhD, MPH as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Taylor will be in residence from March 2020 through July 2020. The objectives of his current research proposal are to present a comprehensive overview and analysis of ethics related to hiring practices and workplace interventions for people who smoke or are obese. His research interests are physical activity, workplace health promotion, health equity, and health behaviors in high priority populations.

Dr. Taylor was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant titled, Booster Breaks: A 21st Century Innovation to Improve Worker Health and Productivity. This study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial of health promoting breaks in the workplace and assessed physical, psychological, and organizational-level outcomes. There are more than 16 peer-reviewed publications related to the Booster Break concept and interventions.

Dr. Taylor received his AB from Grinnell College, MS in Psychology from Eastern Washington University, PhD in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and his MPH from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. In addition, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Community Health at the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His previous positions include tenured Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, and Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Cizik School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet Dr. Minji LeeMinji Lee

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Minji Lee, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Lee will be in residence from June 2019 through August 2020. Dr. Minji Lee recently received a PhD Degree in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Her PhD thesis, “Bodies of Medieval Women as Dangerous, Liminal, and Holy: Representations in the Writings of Late Medieval Religious Women” explored how this medieval German nun defended the woman’s sexual/reproductive body” as positive in the images of re-creation and salvation against misogynic medieval and religious culture of her age.

Granted that Dr. Lee is a medievalist interested in the interactions between mysticism and medicine in the Middle Ages, she now turns to the new research project to compare medieval European medical theories and modern Korean folk medicine in order to see how women have been striving to maintain their reproductive health and to bring positive meanings to their own bodies. She also participated in making a Korean independent documentary project “For Vagina’s Sake (2017)” to posit how Western pre-modern medicine “diabolized” women’s menstrual body.

Currently, she is also a volunteer at Reunion Institute to promote public awareness in religion.

UPREET DHALIWALMeet Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Upreet Dhaliwal, MS as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Dhaliwal will be in residence from February 2019 through May 2019.

Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal, formerly Director-Professor of Ophthalmology at the University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, is one of the founding members of the Medical Humanities Group in the Institution.

She is editor of the journal “Research and Humanities in Medical Education (RHiME)” which is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the only journal in Asia that caters specifically to the medical humanities. RHiME can be accessed at

An occasional poet, and an avid promoter of medical student-led poetry sessions, Dr Dhaliwal is keen to deepen her involvement with the humanities through the visiting scholar program at the Institute for Medical Humanities. Her work here involves an exploration of the Provider-Patient relationship through the medium of poetry.

  • Meet Dr. Joan Paluzzi

    July 1, 2012, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Joan Paluzzi, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Joan Paluzzi, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Paluzzi will be in residence from July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2012.

    Dr. Paluzzi is a medical anthropologist with over twenty years of experience in critical care nursing prior to returning to school for her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.  After completing her degree, she worked with the internationally respected NGO, Partners In Health based in Boston where, in addition to her engagement with the work of PIH, she also served as a Senior Fellow and administrative coordinator of the largest task Force within the United Nations Millennium Project: the Task Force on HIV, TB, Malaria and Access to Essential Medicines (PIH served as the sub-Secretariat for the task force.) The project established the Millennium Development Goals and developed the indicators to measure progress towards their attainment which continue to be widely used in international health and development. She served as one of the lead authors on two of the final reports (Tuberculosis and Access to Medicines).  Following the completion of the Millennium Project, Dr. Paluzzi taught cultural and medical anthropology for six years at a university in North Carolina. From 2002 to 2006 she also served as a member of the Advocacy, Communications, and Social Mobilization Working Group within STOP TB, based at WHO in Geneva.

    Dr. Paluzzi’s research and publications address various topics all of which deal with the related themes of access to health services and medicines, local-to-global health and healthcare disparities and social justice. Her dissertation research, funded by Fulbright explored the experience of tuberculosis in southern Chile and its intersections with economic inequalities and the ongoing privatization of the Chilean health system.  In addition to her work in Chile, she has done fieldwork in Venezuela that examined the rapid scale-up of their free, public health primary care system and in North Carolina where she examined systems of healthcare recourse for immigrants in the Piedmont Triad. Recent publications have explored the ethical dimensions and relational dynamics that characterize multinational pharmaceutical industry practices.

    While at the Institute, she will complete a book project, Tuberculosis and the Consumption of People that moves beyond conventional attributions to poverty (where most discussions of the social determinants of TB begin and end) to identify the ‘causes of the causes’: the larger socio-economic contexts in which TB occurs and the forces that have shaped them. Crossing time and space, the book utilizes specific case studies to situate tuberculosis as the axis joining human experience during three distinct eras, in three distinct locations and within societal contexts dominated by three distinct socio-economic institutions: slavery and segregation (United States), imperial colonialism (American Samoa), and neoliberalism (Chile).  This book illustrates lives lived within personal and social environments that have been constrained, at times violated, by these State-sanctioned, socially-enforced socio-economic institutions and in doing so, clearly demonstrates the fundamentally social roots of health and illness.

  • Meet Dr. Terence Wright

    May 1, 2012, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Terence Wright, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Terence Wright, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Wright will be in residence from May 1, 2012 through July 31, 2012.

    Dr. Wright earned a Master of in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art; a Master of Arts in Ethnology, University of Oxford and a Doctorate from the University London (1986) for his work on photography and visual perception.

    Dr. Wright is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland where he is Course Director for the MFA Photography program. He is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute; board member of the Anthropological Association of Ireland; and affiliated member/visiting researcher at DIGIS (Digital Studio for Research in Design, Visualisation & Communication), University of Cambridge. 

    Dr. Wright worked as a freelance photographer for BBC News and Current Affairs, programs such as That’s Life, Rough Justice and Crimewatch, as well as editorial photography forCosmopolitan, Company and New Scientist.  Among his assignments for the BBC he covered the Libyan People’s Bureau siege in London and the Iranian Airline hijack in Paris in 1984.  In 1998 he returned to Oxford University to establish the research project  ‘Moving Images – the Media Representation of Refugees’ at the university’s Refugee Studies Centre. He was also a Visiting Professor at Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen (Bergen Academy of Art) in Norway (2001-3). In 2003 he joined the University of Ulster where he produced and directed The Interactive Village (2004-7): a digital ethnography of Dolní Roveň a village in Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic in collaboration with anthropologists from the University of Pardubice as part of ‘NM2’ (New Millennium, New Media EU-funded research project: He also produced a FUSION cross-border creative & digital media economic development project forming part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. The project developed prototype pilot demonstrators providing interactive mobile media guides to Irish history with the overall aim of enabling visitors to access multi-perspective, contested or contradictory histories as well as myth, legend and conjecture. In 2008 he held a Visiting Research Fellowship at CRASSH (Centre for Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities) at the University of Cambridge.

    Publications include: The Photography Handbook (2nd ed). London: Taylor & Francis, 2004; Visual Impact: culture and the meaning of Images. Oxford: Berg, 2008;  ‘Drawn from Memory: reminiscing, narrative and the visual image’ International Journal Computers in Healthcare, 2010; ‘Photography and Visual Rhetoric’ in The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. London: Sage, 2011; “Visual Culture, Ethnography and Interactive Media” in A Companion to the Anthropology of Europe. Oxford: Blackwell, 2012.

    Dr. Wright's current research project “The Memory Game” is a visual media iPad-based system for reminiscing, supporting memories of people with dementia. During his visit to IMH he will be working in this area of study conducting further research into the theoretical dimensions of reminiscing and memory. 

  • Meet Dr. Sue Gena Lurie

    January 1, 2012, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Sue Gena Lurie, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Sue Gena Lurie, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Lurie will be in residence from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.

    Dr. Lurie is a medical anthropologist and recently retired faculty member in Social and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health, and Medical Humanities, at the University of North Texas Health Science Center – Fort Worth, and Anthropology at the University of North Texas.

    She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma (1983) and was a National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Fellow in “Ethnography and Public Policy” at Northwestern University’s Anthropology Department (1984-85).

    From 1987 to 2012, Dr. Lurie taught social and behavioral theory and community health; social justice, human rights and ethics; medical and psychological anthropology; and qualitative research methods. At the school of public health she co-directed the MPH/MS Applied Anthropology program, and directed Dr. P.H. dissertations. In 2005 she received a public health education award, and from the Fall of 2009 to the Spring of 2010 she was a Fulbright Fellow lecturing in Bioethics, and Medical Anthropology at the Semmelweis Medical University, Budapest, Hungary.

    Dr. Lurie’s research and writing have been on comparative health and medical systems; and  professionalization and professions - from her dissertation on the professionalization of nursing during Hong Kong’s reform era (1967-1980); to the comparative development of HK’s nursing and social work professions; and the professionalization of Physician Assistants in the United States. In addition she has studied: community mental health care; the needs of elderly and homeless people; tuberculosis education with Hispanic organizations for the Centers for Disease Control; and conducted health needs assessments for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She co-authored Health-Seeking Behavior in Ethnic Populations with Tyson Gibbs, and has, in addition, published journal articles and chapters on public health policy, research ethics, mental health care systems, urban homelessness, and comparative health planning with non-governmental organizations. 

    At the Institute, she is expanding on her historical research (with Gordon Lurie) developing a “transnational analysis” of medicine, professionalization, and public health which joined Central Europe, the U. S., and the developing world throughout the twentieth century. Her current work focuses on the development and transformation of a key organization – the American Medical Association of Vienna (1904-1938) and its post-war successor, the American Medical Society of Vienna (1952-1990). This organization is part of a complex of similar groups such as the Anglo-American Medical Association of Berlin (1903-1938), and others in Paris and London. This study, which began in 2009, uses Hong Kong’s transnational experience on professionalization and its network-city urban program as a template for reconsidering health and professionalization in Vienna and Central Europe during both the interwar years and the Cold War era. A preliminary paper was presented at the American Anthropological Association Meetings in 2010. Drawing on the extant archives of the AMA of Vienna and the AMS of Vienna which were gathered in 2009-2010, and access received to the American Medical Association archives in Chicago, she hopes to develop grant funding to pursue research in Europe, the United States, and (for the Cold War era) South Asia and the Middle East.

  • Meet Dr. Jane Chance

    September 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Jane Chance, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Jane Chance, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Chance will be in residence from September 2011 through April 2012.

    Dr. Chance is the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor Emerita in English at Rice University. She has taught medieval literature for forty years.

    Dr. Chance earned a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, a Master of Arts from University of Illinois, and a Doctorate in English from the University of Illinois.

    Dr. Chance has published twenty-one books and nearly a hundred articles and reviews, on mythography and classical influence on medieval literature; Old and Middle English literature, especially Chaucer; medieval women; and modern medievalism (Tolkien in particular). Her most recent book, The Literary Subversions of Medieval Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), was awarded the 2008 SCMLA Book Prize. General editor of the Library of Medieval Women (published by Boydell & Brewer), with twenty-three titles in print, she has also edited the Greenwood series Historic Events in the Medieval World, with twelve titles published in 2004-5, and the newer Praeger Series on the Middle Ages, with five titles as of 2011.

    Dr. Chance has been an NEH and Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton,a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, Eccles Fellow at the University of Utah Humanities Center, and director of both an NEH Summer Seminar  and an Institute for College Teachers. She has also enjoyed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio on Lake Como. In spring, 2003, she held NEH and Mellon Fellowships at St. Louis University. She has delivered many guest and keynote lectures in the U.S. and around the world. Recently, she served as the chair of the Modern Language Association Roth Committee for the Best Literary Translation (and was asked to return this summer unexpectedly); she is currently a member of the PMLA Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Chance's major project at the IMH is a guest-edited issue of the new journal Postmedieval: a Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies, on Cognitive Alterities/Neuromedievalism. This subject involves the ways in which the findings of neuroscientific research can be used to better understand the rise in the later Middle Ages of affective piety and mysticism, particularly by women, literary dream allegory, and other forms of embodied cognition in philosophy and theology. She also hopes to complete the third volume of Medieval Mythography, on The Emergence of Italian Humanism, in which myth interpretation by fourteenth and fifteenth-century poet-scholars becomes a vehicle for projections of self and the personal.

    Dr. Chance has recently taken up photography and has shown in many juried competitions in Galveston, Clear Lake, and Houston. She is proud of her Galveston and Texas Landmark house, which, through research at the Rosenberg Library, she discovered was originally owned by one of the first settlers of Galveston, a Norwegian sea-captain; the daughter of Henry Fisher, coauthor of the 1842 land grant act that brought northern Europeans to the Hill Country; and Sam Houston’s grandnephew—all in its first four years.

  • Meet Dr. Kirsten Ostherr

    September 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Kirsten Ostherr, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Kirsten Ostherr, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Ostherr will be in residence from September 2011 through December 2011.

    Dr. Ostherr is Associate Professor of English at Rice University in Houston, TX, where she teaches film and media studies, with a special emphasis on historical and contemporary representations of health and disease in photography, film, television, animation, advertising, and medical imaging. She is also a Fellow in The John P. McGovern, M.D. Center for Humanities and Ethics, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX.

    Dr. Ostherr’s most recent work focuses on networked patients and hospitals, social media and health movements, and the age of bioinformatics. She is author of Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005), and during her time at the Institute for Medical Humanities, she will be completing Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies  (Oxford). Ostherr has recently published or has forthcoming articles on medical animation in the 1920s, health education films of the postwar period, narrative medicine and biocultures, ethical issues in the film Philadelphia, and corporate publicity films. She has also published on art film, documentary, and science fiction film. Professor Ostherr lectures widely and has recently given invited talks in Geneva, Chicago, San Diego, Galveston, Houston, Philadelphia, and New York. Her work has been supported by a variety of grants and fellowships.

    Dr. Ostherr is currently developing the Medical Futures Initiative, an institute for training the medical media innovators of the future through creative, hands-on critical thinking and design. This project will foster a creative environment for imagining what the future of medicine should be; create media and other tools for improving healthcare and medical education; and teach pre-med students to think analytically and historically about medicine, science, and technology. A cornerstone of Medical Futures is “Project TMC,” a pilot program that joins Rice undergraduates with Texas Medical Center physician-researchers to develop videos and other communications media that translate their work for patients and the wider health community. Kirsten looks forward to discussing this project and her research with the UTMB Institute for the Medical Humanities community.

  • Meet Dr. Erma Lawson

    August 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Erma Lawson, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Erma Lawson, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Lawson will be in residence from August 2011 through November 2011.

    Dr. Lawson combines Nursing and Medical Sociology to focus on health and illness among underserved populations.  She is an Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. She has held many clinical positions, including Assistant Director of Nursing, Kentucky State Hospital, Charge Nurse at Grady Memorial Hospital, Obstetrics /Gynecology, Atlanta, Georgia. She has also held clinical positions in the emergency room, neonatal intensive care, cardiac intensive care, and home health nursing.

    Dr. Lawson earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Howard University and a Doctorate in Medical Sociology from the University of Kentucky, Departments of Sociology and Behavioral Science. Her dissertation combined qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the meaning of smoking among Appalachian pregnant adolescents. 

    To develop an in-depth understanding of grounded theory, Dr. Lawson studied with the late Dr. Anselm Strauss, University of California, Berkeley, CA.  Also she lived in Zimbabwe, Africa, for two years, exploring stress, birth outcomes, and family stability using narrative methodology.  As a post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University, Department of Public Health Practice, she explored violence, heart disease, stress, among young inner city adolescents.

    She has given many scholarly presentations internationally, in countries including Buenos Aires, Argentina; Havana, Cuba; Auckland, Zealand; Sydney Australia; and Johannesburg, South African. 

    In 2005, Dr. Lawson was awarded the American Sociology Congressional Fellowship in the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (30th district) Texas in which she wrote several bills debated in the U.S. House of Representatives, and passed to the U.S. Senate. Dr. Lawson’s publications have centered on health disparities; Katrina survivors and Spirituality; and family instability. She is the first author of Black Men and Divorce (Sage, publications). She was appointed to the Panel of Minority Women health expert to advise the Department Women’s Health at DHHS.

    Dr. Lawson's current research focuses on the medicalization of race through organ transplantation. At IMH, she plans to complete a book on the experience of minority heart transplant recipients and health disparities.

  • Meet Dr. David Brenner

    June 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    David Brenner, MA, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome David Brenner, MA, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Brenner will be in residence from June 2011 through July 2011.

    Dr. Brenner teaches Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies at the University of Houston. He is the author of two books, Marketing Identities: The Invention of Jewish Ethnicity (Wayne State University Press, 1998) and German-Jewish Popular Culture before the Holocaust (Routledge, 2008). His current book project, Schindler's Shoah: Teaching the Holocaust in the Age of Globalization, focuses on the pedagogy of genocide education. While interacting with students and faculty at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at UTMB, he will be specifically examining the challenges and opportunities of using the Holocaust as a paradigmatic case study for medical ethics.
  • Meet Dr. Sefik Gorkey

    April 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Sefik Gorkey, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Sefik Gorkey, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Gordkey will be in residence from April 2011 through August 2011.

    Dr. Gorkey graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry in 1985 and earned a doctoral degree in 1989. He started lecturing in Marmara University Faculty of Medicine in 1993 as a founder of the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine. He was appointed as a Professor in 1999 and has been Chair of the department since 1994.

    Dr. Gorkey has published in the field of medical ethics, history of medicine, and ethical issues in dental practice and research. He has teaching experience in medical ethics, dental ethics, and history of medicine. He has taken responsibility as a member in REC's in medical and dental schools, some research hospitals in Istanbul, Istanbul Chamber of Physicians Ethics Committee and Ministery of Health, Stem Cell Adhoc Ethics Committee in Turkey. He is also a founding and current board member of the International Dental Ethics and Law Society (IDEALS).

    He is now visiting IMH as a visiting scholar for a project of “Medicine in Art: In western painting tradition” and an elective course model / proposal for medical humanities curriculum on the same topic. The subtopics related for the project are; diseases (hormonal anomalies, dermatological diseases, eye diseases, rheumatism, leprosy, blindness, etc.) epidemics (specifically plague), birth scenes, patient physician relationship, disable people, treatment methods through centuries in paintings, dentistry, charlatans, dissection scenes, medical education in western paintings (specifically Italian and Dutch art).