Rachel Conrad Bracken, HRC Medical Humanities Graduate Fellow, Wins Teaching Award

Rachel Conrad Bracken, a PhD candidate in Rice's Department of English, has been awarded the Center for Teaching Excellence's Graduate Student Instructor Award for 2017, for her First-year Writing Intensive Seminar, "Science/Fiction and the Future of Medicine."

Bracken is a graduate certificate student with the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her research explores the intersections of American literature and public health history, uncovering how community is biologically constituted through the spread of contagion, defined by epidemiological records, governed through public health policy, and discursively produced across genres. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities, Big Data and Society, English Language Notes (ELN), and the edited collection Transforming Contagion: Risky Contacts among Bodies, Disciplines, and Nations (Rutgers UP, 2018).

Bracken's medical humanities teaching at Rice has also included early additions to the medical humanities minor, "Literature and Medicine," and her Fall 2017 course, "Invalid Women: Writing and Resisting Representations of Women's Illness," which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation under the HRC's Public Humanities initiative. Her public humanities work for this course extended beyond the classroom, with the course's capstone "Take Back the Mic" event, a public poetry reading featuring four Houston women poets: Maria Palacios, Traci Lavois Thiebauld, Analicia Sotelo, and current Houston poet laureate Deborah "DEEP" Mouton.

Congratulations to Rachel for her excellent work as an engaged scholar instructing in the medical humanities at Rice.