Sarah Singer


Greenlaw 323

Sarah Singer is a PhD candidate studying the rhetoric of health, medicine, and disability. Drawing on her experiences as a patient and peer health educator, Sarah investigates how patients' rhetorical choices can influence their diagnoses, treatments, and recoveries. Sarah's dissertation is a mixed-methods project that connects rhetorical studies to feminist historiography, visual ethnography, digital health humanities, and circulation studies. Tentatively titled "Rhetoric and Lyme Disease: Stories, Evidence, Epistemologies," this project examines how various stakeholders--patients, practitioners, government agents, advocacy groups, and others--become producers and authorities of Lyme Disease knowledge through "everyday artifacts" like memoirs, photographs and their captions, maps, and Pinterest pins. Sarah writes about her research process and documents her preliminary findings at For more information about her background and teaching philosophy, please see her personal website

Sarah is currently a Teaching Fellow and the Assistant Director of the UNC Writing Program. 

Selected Publications:

  • Singer, Sarah, and Jordynn Jack. "Performing Chronicity: Gender, Illness, and Online Identity." The Rhetoric of Health and Medicine As/Is: Theories and Concepts for an Emerging Field, edited by Lisa Meloncon, Scott Graham, Jenell Johnson, John Lynch, and Cynthia Ryan. Forthcoming. 
  • Singer, Sarah, Weed, Kym, Stockwell, 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, vol. 38, no. 1, 2017. Forthcoming. 
  • Singer, Sarah. "Rethinking Recovery Work: New Directions in Feminist Histories of Rhetoric." Review of Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks, by Jordynn Jack, Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, by Robin E. Jensen, and Breast or Bottle?: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice, by Amy Koerber. Peitho, vol. 19, no. 1, 2016. pp. 166-77. 
  • Singer, Sarah. "Beyond the Domestic Sphere: Home Economics and the Education of Women at Maryland State College, 1916–94." Young Scholars in Writing: Undergraduate Research in Writing and Rhetoric, vol. 10, 2012, pp. 105-15.

Recent Conference Presentations:

  • "Medical Narratives--Cultivating Stories, Voices, Selves, Knowledge, Action." Roundtable. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Portland, OR. March 2017.
  • "Lyme Disease Epistemologies: Knowing Through Stories." Panel Discussion. HHEX: Health and Humanities Exchange Conference. Chapel Hill, NC. November 2016. 
  • "Writing Diabetes: The Composition and Rhetoric of Illness Essays." Panel Discussion. The Examined Life Conference. Iowa City, IA. October 2016.
  • "Teaching with Technology: A Conversation Starter." Roundtable. Council of Writing Program Administrators' 2016 Conference. Raleigh, NC. July 2016. 

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL105 (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017)
  • ENGL105i: Writing in Health and Medicine (Fall 2015, Spring 2016)
  • ENGL304: Advanced Business Writing (Co-Instructor - Fall 2016)
  • WMST101: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (Teaching Assistant - Spring 2015)

Teaching Awards

Doris Betts Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition (2016)




B.A. University of Maryland, magna cum laude, 2013.