Visiting Scholar Announcements

Taylor, Wendell

Meet Dr. Wendell Taylor

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wendell C. Taylor, Visiting Scholar in the Institute for the Medical Humanities, Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. 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

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. Sara van den Berg

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

Sara van den Berg, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Sara van den Berg, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. van den Berg will be in residence from September 1, 2012 through December 17, 2012.

Dr. van den Berg completed twelve years as Chair of the English Department at Saint Louis University in June 2012, and is spending the Fall 2012 semester in residence at the Institute, working on two research projects: a study of pain and narrative, and a book on the cultural meanings of the dwarf in Western culture since the Renaissance. 

After earning a Doctorate from Yale University, Dr. van den Berg taught at Fordham University and Fairfield University before joining the faculty at Ohio State. There she designed and team-taught a large lecture course on Medicine and the Humanities—one of the first in the country. She then became a faculty member at the University of Washington-Seattle, where she taught Early Modern English literature and also developed a year-long undergraduate sequence in Medicine and Society.

At Saint Louis University, she worked with Mark Clark (now of IMH) and other colleagues to design a successful Interdisciplinary Minor in Medical Humanities. She has published three books, as well as essays on Milton, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Freud, including essays on Freud’s dreams, on the motif of reading and writing in the Dora case, and on the case narratives in Studies in Hysteria. That essay was written for a conference at the Institute, and was published in The Good Body: Asceticism in Modern Culture (edited by Mary Winkler and Letha Cole of IMH).

Dr. van deb Berg's work on pain began with an essay, “Narrative as Measurement of Pain,” presented at a meeting of the International Society for the Study of Narrative two years ago. Her research has been supported by a 2011-12 Presidential Research Fund Grant from Saint Louis University, and she discussed her current project at a recent Pain and Wellbeing Conference in St. Louis. 

Both her research on pain and her study of dwarfism are linked to her teaching and research in Disability Studies. She currently chairs the MLA Committee on Disability Issues, and at SLU-Madrid will teach a graduate seminar on “Disability and the Problem of Perception.” The course will focus on three different forms of disability: blindness, dwarfism, and pain. Blindness is a deficit of perception (and that part of the course will focus on Milton); dwarfism both is and is not perceived as disability; and pain is an “invisible” disability that cannot be objectively measured.

After leaving Galveston in December, Dr. van den Berg will spend the Spring 2013 semester teaching at the SLU campus in Madrid, and in April will be a Visiting Fellow at the History of Pain Project at Birkbeck College-University of London.