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".
Baldwinson’s dissertation research centres on the problem of doubt in global health— that is, on how publics began to lose faith in global health's key institutional actors, discourses, and actions. 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, Baldwinson’s scholarship chronicles the operations and effects of doubt-producing discourse. Ultimately, Baldwinson'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.
Baldwinson's dissertation has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Killam Trusts, and the Friedman Foundation. Baldwinson is a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Studies.
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.