Teaching Assistant Professor / Co-Director of HHIVE Lab / Associate Director of Graduate Programs in LMC
2018, PhD English & Comparative Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2011, MA English Language & Literature, University of Maryland, College Park
2006, BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Lebanon Valley College
Kym Weed, PhD is a Teaching Assistant Professor in English & Comparative Literature, the Co-Director of the HHIVE Lab, and the Associate Director of Literature, Medicine, and Culture (LMC) Graduate Programs including the ECL MA concentration in LMC, BA/MA program in LMC, and Graduate Certificate in LMC.
She is an interdisciplinary scholar of health humanities, disability studies, and American literature. Her research and teaching coalesce around the literary and cultural study of science, medicine and healthcare, exploring the narratives that shape understandings of illness, health, disability, and embodiment. Prof. Weed’s work has appeared in Literature and Medicine, The Journal of Medical Humanities, and Keywords for Health Humanities.
Prof. Weed’s American literature research merges her background in microbiology and literary studies to examine the diverse representations of microorganisms in the years between the popularization of the germ theory of disease and the widespread use of antibiotics. Her work articulates a counternarrative of human-microbe partnership that emerged alongside the narratives of anxiety and fear that have been the focus of most scholarly study of nineteenth-century bacteriology. She explores writing by fiction authors, bacteriologists, industry leaders, and domestic workers who locate utility and possibility in the microbial world.
In the HHIVE Lab, Prof. Weed mentors graduate and undergraduate student research projects and collaborates on interdisciplinary initiatives with faculty across campus. For example, she is a co-investigator with colleagues from epidemiology, health policy and management, and anthropology on the latest iteration of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study. Phase 4 of the study will collect oral histories from North Carolinians who have been diagnosed with breast cancer to better understand how racial health disparities are influenced by pre-diagnostic health care experiences and barriers to care.
Beyond the Department of English & Comparative Literature, Prof. Weed teaches a seminar in UNC’s School of Medicine that explores ethics, develops communication skills, and provides space for reflection. She is also the treasurer and an elected steering committee member of the Health Humanities Consortium.To read more, visit my website
- Kym Weed, “Microbe,” Keywords for Health Humanities, edited by Sari Altschuler, Jonathan Metzl, and Priscilla Wald, New York University Press, forthcoming
- “COVID-19 and the Outbreak Narrative,” conversation with Priscilla Wald, Southern Cultures, May 2020.
- Kym Weed, “Microbial Perspectives: Mark Twain’s Imaginative Experiment in Ethics,” Literature and Medicine, vol. 37, no. 1, 2019, pp. 219-240.
- Sarah Ann Singer, Kym Weed, Jennifer Edwell, Jordynn Jack, and Jane F. Thrailkill. “Advancing Pre-Health Humanities as Intensive Research Practice: Principles and Recommendations from a Cross-Divisional Baccalaureate Setting,” Journal of Medical Humanities, vol. 38, no. 4, 2017, pp. 373-384.
- Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Literature, 2016
- Co-Investigator with Dr. Eboneé Butler (PI), Developmental Award ($138,308) awarded by Linberger Cancer Center, 2022-2024
- Summer Online Course Design Grant awarded by Summer School and Digital and Lifelong Learning, 2020
- Collaboration Grant awarded by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, 2020
- Programming Grant awarded by the Countering Hate initiative, College of Arts & Sciences, 2019
- ENGL 763: Introduction to Methods in Health Humanities
- ENGL 611: Narrative, Literature, and Medicine
- ENGL 269: Disability Studies
- ENGL 163: Introduction to Health Humanities
- ENGL71H: FYS – Healers and Patients
- ENGL 105i: Writing in Health and Medicine
- SHS4: RICE Seminar, UNC School of Medicine