Discourse about interdisciplinarity circulates widely across a range of global health contexts. Many institutions and individuals in global health advocate, project, and support an interdisciplinary approach to global health work. Currently, the effect of this discourse on research, policy and practice is not well understood. In my dissertation, entitled “Global Health and the Rhetoric of Interdisciplinarity,” I ask, “What are the meanings, motives, functions, and effects of interdisciplinarity discourse in global health?” Ultimately, my study aims to facilitate future research and deliberations about interdisciplinarity in global health.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Rhetorical criticism provides a powerful means for identifying, analyzing, and understanding intractable issues in science, technology, and medicine. The Rhetoric emphasis in the Department of English, and the Science and Technology Studies specialization, are programs that together support and mobilize a humanities-based approach to various critical issues in health and medicine.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Deep divisions separate humanities and social sciences disciplines from scientific disciplines, and academic work from social or political action. These divisions can be hard to overcome. Thus, in addition to addressing the complex challenges that I call my main subjects/objects of study, it will remain a parallel challenge for me to navigate and bridge these divisions - to do interdisciplinary work that engages with people and practices from different disciplines, and to do work that leads to meaningful doings.