Jennifer Edwell

While working on my masters at MTSO, I studied the role of narrative, especially autobiography, in religious ethics. My primary focus was on stories of marginalization; however, I became acutely aware of the theme of finitude in many personal narratives. When I came to UNC, I knew I wanted to explore these themes from a new angle. Rather than focusing on religious narratives, I investigate how people tell stories about health and the role of religion in medicine for patients, providers, and healthcare systems.

My current projects explore the significance of chapels (particularly “interfaith” or psychospiritual spaces) within hospitals, the effect of writing for people with chronic illness, and the rhetorical history of Christian Science.

I conceive of my research as appealing to three audiences: 1) scholars of rhetoric, 2) scholars of religion, and 3) scholars and practitioners of medicine. My research falls within the broad scope of the Medical/Health Humanities. Further, I am exploring an interdisciplinary [or transdisciplinary] approach to rhetorical research that enacts my commitment to feminist, intersectional values.

Additionally, I am a collaborator with faculty and students in the HHIVE Lab, the Study Coordinator for the Writing Diabetes Study, and a member of the Literature, Medicine, and Culture Colloquium



2010—B.A. from The Ohio State University (Major: English // Minors: Theater and International Studies)

2014—M.T.S. from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (Ethics)

Research Groups and Interests

Group X - Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy