Kym Weed


Greenlaw 322

Ph.D. Candidate
Senior Teaching Fellow
Assistant Director, HHIVE Lab

Kym Weed is a Ph.D. Candidate and Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in English from Lebanon Valley College.

Her dissertation, "Our Microbes: Imagining Human Interdependence with Bacteria in American Literature, Science, and Culture, 1880-1920," examines the role that "friendly" microbes played in the American imagination in the period between germ theory and antibiotics. Extending literary scholarship that focuses on the anxieties and fears provoked by disease-causing germs, the project attends to the bacteriologists, industry leaders, domestic workers, and fiction writers who located utility and possibility in the microbial world. Her research has been supported by the Thomas F. Ferdinand Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2017), Rebekah F. Kirby Dissertation Fellowship (Spring 2017), and Eliason Dissertation Fellowship (Summer 2016).

As a founding member of the HHIVE Lab, Kym pursues interdisciplinary research and pedagogy projects that bridge traditional disciplinary and hierarchical boundaries. She is HHIVE Assistant Director and has served as a Study Coordinator for the Falls Narrative Study (2015-2016), which paired UNC health humanities students with older adults from the community to elicit written narratives about falling down. Along with graduate student and faculty collaborators, Kym recently published a co-authored article about health humanities undergraduate research exposure in the Journal of Medical Humanities. 

Kym has taught Introduction to American Literature (Spring 2016), Introduction to Fiction (Fall 2016), and Introduction to Composition & Rhetoric (8 sections, 2012-2017); lead recitation sections as a TA for Literature, Medicine, and Culture (Spring 2015) and 20th Century American Literature (Fall 2014); lead discussion groups in the Medical School (2013-2016); and served as member of the Peer Mentoring Committee for two terms (2015-2017). 

Teaching Awards

Senior Teaching Fellowship awarded in recognition of teaching excellence by the Department of English & Comparative Literature, 2017-2018

Erika Lingemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature awarded by the Peer Mentoring Committee, Spring 2016

Engaged Instructor Award for outstanding contributions to professional development awareded by the Writing Program, 2015


M.A. English Language and Literature, University of Maryland, College Park, 2011
B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Lebanon Valley College, 2006


Research Groups and Interests

Literature, Medicine, and Culture
Group VI - American Literature to 1900
Group VII - American Literature from 1900 to the Present