Jennifer Edwell


Email:   jedwell@unc.edu

Degrees

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)

Biography

While working on my masters at the Methodist Theological Shool in Ohio, 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.

At UNC, I have studied the significance of chapels (particularly “interfaith” or psychospiritual spaces) within hospitals. Also, I was the Study Coordinator for the Writing Diabetes Study, and I have written (with my collaborators) about the impact of writing as an intervention for people with chronic illness. Finally, my disseration investigates the rhetorical history of neonatal medicine in order to reveal the influence of antecedent religious rhetoric on the development of this subfield and to demonstrate the convergence of religion and science in contemporary accounts of premature infants.

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. Thus, my research falls within the broad scope of the Medical/Health Humanities. Finally, I am exploring an interdisciplinary [or transdisciplinary] approach to rhetorical research that enacts my commitment to feminist, intersectional values.

Select Publications

Edwell, Jennifer, Singer, Sarah, and Jordynn Jack. "Healing Arts: Rhetorical Techne as Medical (Humanities) Intervention." Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly. Accepted; Forthcoming.

Edwell, Jennifer. Medical Interiors: Materiality and Spatiality in Medical Rhetoric.” Methodologies in Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, edited by Lisa Meloncon and Blake Scott. New York: Routledge. 2018.

Singer, Sarah, Weed, Kym, Edwell, Jennifer, Jack, Jordynn, and Jane Thrailkill. "Advancing Pre-Health Humanities as Intensive Research Practice: Principles and Recommendations from a Cross-Disciplinary Baccalaureate Setting." Pre-Health Humanities Education, special issue of Journal of Medical Humanities. Accepted; first online 01 June 2017. 

Edwell, Jennifer, and Jordynn Jack. “Gestational Diabetes Testing, Narrative, and Medical Distrust.” In Bioethical Inquiry, symposium on “Public Trust in Expert Knowledge” edited by Silvia Camporesi, Mark Davis, and Maria Vaccarella. December 2016.

Select Presentations

"Going to the (Hospital) Chapel: A Study of the Emplaced Rhetorics of Spirituality in Medical Sites," conference presentation. The American Academy of Religion, San Antonio, TX. November 2016.

"Writing Diabetes: The Composition and Rhetoric of Illness Essays," conference presentation. The Examined Life Conference. Iowa City, IA. October 2016.

"Ministries of the Body: Christianity and Health in the 21st Century," lecture. Methodist Theological School in Ohio. May 2016.

"Ill Religion: Avoiding Dangerous Metaphors and the 'Health' of the Church," presentation. UMC LEAD Conference, Los Angeles, CA. January 2016.

"‘Sugar Baby:’ Character, Compliance, and Agency in Gestational Diabetes Narratives," conference presentation. Feminism and Rhetorics Conference, Tempe, AZ. October 2015.

"Narrative Social Ethics: (Women's) Transformational Autobiography and the Limits of Genre," conference presentation. The American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, MD. November 2013.

RESEARCH AND TEACHING GROUP


Edwell, Jennifer, Singer, Sarah, and Jordynn Jack. "Healing Arts: Rhetorical Techne as Medical (Humanities) Intervention." Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly. Accepted; Forthcoming.

Singer, Sarah, Bloom-Pojar, Rachel, Dubriwny, Tasha, Kinney, Tiffany, McFarlane, Megan, Murawski, Carrie, Edwell, Jennifer, and Robin Jensen. "Reevaluating Our Commitments: Intersectionality, Interdisciplinarity, and the Future of Feminist Rhetoric." Rhetoric's Change, edited by Jenny Rice and Chelsea Graham. Forthcoming. 

Edwell, Jennifer. Medical Interiors: Materiality and Spatiality in Medical Rhetoric.” Methodologies in Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, edited by Lisa Meloncon and Blake Scott. New York: Routledge. 2018.

Singer, Sarah, Weed, Kym, Edwell, Jennifer, Jack, Jordynn, and Jane Thrailkill. "Advancing Pre-Health Humanities as Intensive Research Practice: Principles and Recommendations from a Cross-Disciplinary Baccalaureate Setting." Pre-Health Humanities Education, special issue of Journal of Medical Humanities. Accepted; first online 01 June 2017. 

Edwell, Jennifer, and Jordynn Jack. “Gestational Diabetes Testing, Narrative, and Medical Distrust.” In Bioethical Inquiry, symposium on “Public Trust in Expert Knowledge” edited by Silvia Camporesi, Mark Davis, and Maria Vaccarella. December 2016.