Raquel Baldwinson

Raquel Baldwinson is a Friedman Scholar and PhD Candidate in the Department of English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and a specialization in Science and Technology Studies. She is on a two-year Visiting Fellow appointment in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University where she works with scholars in the history of medicine and global health on her dissertation, "Global Health Doubt and the Rhetoric of Interdisciplinarity".

Global Health and the Rhetoric of Interdisciplinarity
Faculty of Arts
Judy Segal, Alan Richardson, J. Blake Scott

Raquel’s dissertation research centres on the problem of doubt in global health— that is, on how multiple national publics began to lose faith in the actions and words of the key actors and institutions in global health. One key contributor to the problem, she finds, is interdisciplinarity discourse. Interdisciplinarity is constantly claimed and celebrated across a range of global health contexts, but it is unclear what it means, and whether those who say it, do it. Combining rhetorical inquiry with the analytics of history and anthropology, Raquel’s scholarship chronicles the operations and effects of doubt-producing discourse. Ultimately, Raquel's research aims to improve our understanding of the conditions of doubt which impede support for one of today’s most significant forms of global social action.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

Rhetorical analysis and criticism provide a powerful means for identifying, understanding, and even intervening in complex 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 vital humanities-based approach to various critical issues in health and medicine.


Learn more about Raquel's research

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 conditions, meanings, logics, and effects of interdisciplinarity discourse in global health?” Ultimately, my study aims to facilitate future research and deliberations about interdisciplinarity in global health.

Raquel Baldwinson