Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Anthony Cerulli and Visiting Assistant Professor of English Sarah Berry recently co-authored “Mad Scientists, Narrative, and Social Power: A Collaborative Learning Activity,” published in the Journal of Medical Humanities (Vol.34, No.4).
“The Journal of Medical Humanities is an important peer-reviewed journal that, in many ways, is at the vanguard of the burgeoning field of Medical Humanities,” explains Cerulli.
Their article is a pedagogical piece about their independent and collaborative work teaching the representation of medical science and technology in literature using the short stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
According to the article’s abstract: “Hawthorne’s short stories ‘The Birthmark’ (1843) and ‘Rappaccini’s Daughter’ (1844) encourage critical thinking about science and scientific research as forms of social power. In this collaborative activity, students work in small groups to discuss the ways in which these stories address questions of human experimentation, gender, manipulation of bodies, and the role of narrative in mediating perceptions about bodies. Students collectively adduce textual evidence from the stories to construct claims and present a mini-argument to the class, thereby strengthening their skills in communication and cooperative interpretation of ethical dilemmas. This exercise is adaptable to shorter and longer periods of instruction, and it is ideal for instructors who collaborate across areas of expertise.”
Cerulli and Berry also have forthcoming an essay, “Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Warring Doctors and Meddling Ministers,” in Mosaic, a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature.
Cerulli joined the faculty at the Colleges in 2008. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, M.A. from Yale University, and B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago. Cerulli has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and was recently a visiting scholar at the Institut d’études avancées de Paris. He is a former Fulbright fellow and fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. In spring 2012, he was the Directeur d’études (invité) at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales de Paris and in summer 2012 he received a Social Science Research Council research award. Cerulli is also the author of the book, “Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature” (2012). Most recently, he co-edited the book, “Medical Texts and Manuscripts in Indian Cultural History” (July 2013).
Berry joined the Colleges in 2008, after earning her Ph.D. from Syracuse University, where she also earned her M.A. She holds a B.S. from Cornell University. She has published in Academic Medicine and has a forthcoming essay in the Journal of Medical Humanities about slavery and medicine and a chapter in Rethinking Empathy (Routledge) about race, gender, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She is the author of several teaching articles and a higher education learning module “A Medicine of Their Own: The Stories of American Women Healers” (National Library of Medicine).
She is the primary investigator in a Mellon Humanities Corridor and New York Six grant. As such she is currently co-hosting, with Professor of Media and Society Les Friedman, a new working group in health, humanities and disability studies. This interdisciplinary and interprofessional research and teaching initiative will bring together HWS colleagues, physicians, bioethicists, health humanities scholars, and medical educators from across New York State, Ontario, and New Jersey.
Their article can be read online. The print edition will appear in December.