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Robert Penn Warren Center

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

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2013/2014 Warren Center Faculty Fellows

Diagnosis in Context: Culture, Politics, and the Construction of Meaning

GREGORY M. BARZ is the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor and Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Blair School of Music. He is a medical ethnomusicologist focusing on the role of the arts (music, dance, drama) in HIV/ AIDS interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of numerous books and the producer of several documentary films and CDs. He was nominated as producer for a Grammy Award for his CD, Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2007). In addition to holding a Senior AIDS Fulbright Research Award, he has been a Franklin Fellow and held a fellowship with the British Academy. His most significant achievement was winning Vanderbilt's annual Raft Debate (an open defense of academic disciplines) twice in a row before being asked to retire from the competition.

VANESSA B. BEASLEY is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of American Studies. Her scholarship and teaching focus on the history and functions of U.S. presidential rhetoric. She is the author of several articles and book chapters as well as the book You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric (Texas A&M, 2004). She is also the editor of the volume Who Belongs in America: Presidents, Rhetoric and Immigration (Texas A&M, 2006). She is currently completing a book that traces how presidents from LBJ to Obama have talked about race in an allegedly post-racial era, research that raises questions about the use of Civil Rights movement narratives within public policy debates on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

SUSAN K. CAHN is Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, specializing in U.S. women's history and the history of sexuality. She has written and edited books on women's sports. Her book Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age, (Harvard University Press, 2012) is about adolescent girls' sexuality and its significance in the ongoing struggles over race, class, and gender relations in the American South. She is the author of articles on lesbian history, adolescent sexuality, and chronic illness. Her current research is on the gendered history of mental illness with a focus on borderline personality disorder. She is the 2013/2014 William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at the Warren Center.

LAURA M. CARPENTER is Associate Professor of Sociology, specializing in gender, sexuality, and health over the life course. She is author of Virginity Lost: An Intimate Portrait of First Sexual Experiences (NYU Press, 2005) and co-editor of Sex for Life: From Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes Throughout our Lives (NYU Press, 2012). At present, she is completing a book manuscript on the politics of male circumcision in the contemporary United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Her next book-length project will explore how chronic illness affects sexual beliefs, behaviors, and identities—and vice versa—with a focus on diagnoses typically seen as having little to do with sex (e.g., diabetes, heart disease).

KENNETH T. MACLEISH is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University. He studies how war, broadly considered, takes shape in the everyday lives of people whose job it is to produce it—U.S. military service members and their families and communities. He is the author of Making War: Everyday Life at Ft. Hood (Princeton University Press, 2013). His current work continues to explore the impact of making war on bodily and psychic life by examining how medical and protective technologies, diagnostic categories, institutional and political pressures, and cultural ideas about violence all shape the experience of war and the interpretation of war-affected bodies and minds. His ongoing research interests include relationships between the harm, healing, and enhancement of soldiers; ideas about suicide, risk, and resilience; and the production of morality in military medical interventions.

MARK L. SCHOENFIELD is Professor of English and chair of the English Department, with specializations in Romanticism, law and literature, and periodical culture. He is the author of British Periodicals and Romantic Identity: The "Literary Lower Empire" (Palgrave Macmillian, 2008) and The Professional Wordsworth: Law, Labor, and the Poet's Contract (University of Georgia Press, 1996). Mark is currently exploring how British periodicals and other institutions organized and analyzed knowledge, and how the interchange of knowledge among institutions transformed the public perception of it.

ARLEEN M. TUCHMAN is Professor of History. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the history of modern medicine in Europe and the United States. Her most recent book, Science Has No Sex: The Life of Marie Zakrzewska, MD (University of North Carolina Press, 2006) explores competing understandings of science, gender, and medicine through the eyes of one of the first female physicians in the U.S. Currently, she is writing a cultural history of diabetes, which examines the stories that have circulated since the late nineteenth century about who gets diabetes and why. She is particularly interested in diabetes' transformation from a disease of wealth to one of poverty, and from a Jewish disease to one that afflicts disproportionately Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latinos.

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