Lorenzo Servitje

M.A. in English with distinction, University of California, Riverside, 2013
B.A. California State University, San Bernardino
Lorenzo’s CV

Research Areas:

Victorian Literature, Medical discourse, Technoculture, New Media

Research Interests:

Lorenzo researches the intersections between literature/culture and medical discourse in late 19th and early 20th century British literature. He explores how medicine shapes and is shaped by literature and culture both as a material technology and social construction. His particular interests pertain to biopolitics, addiction, and medicalization. Lorenzo also researches new media, specifically video games, and social/mobile media with respect to their representations of medicine and health. His historical and contemporary work extends into the medical humanities. Most recently, he has explored gothic representations of medical education.

Dissertation: “Medicine is War”

“Medicine is War” analyzes how we have come to understand medicine through the conceptual domain of war. He traces the martial metaphor in the 19th century, showing how it becomes prominent through the exchange between Victorian literature and its contemporary medical writing, showing how this metaphor gains cultural purchase throughout the 19th century, originating from the material connections between the military and medicine, and only later becoming the more metaphorical abstraction familiar today. This literal nexus was circulated as a metaphor by authors, such as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Conrad, during the advent of the medical gaze and became codified in everyday usage with the developments of epidemiology and germ theory.

Recent Activity:


Edited Books

Graphic Treatment: Zombie Narratives and the Medical Image. Edited with Sherryl Vint. Pennsylvania State University Press. In press December 1, 2015. Forthcoming in November 2016. (256 book pages)

Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory. Palgrave Macmillan. Edited with Kari Nixon. In press January 15, 2015. Forthcoming in July 2016. (322 manuscript pages)

Book Chapters

 Graphic Medicine Contracts the Zombie Craze: An Introduction.” Graphic Treatment: Zombie Narratives and the Medical Image. Lorenzo Servitje and Sherryl Vint (eds). Pennsylvania State University Press. Forthcoming: Fall 2016. (17 manuscript pages)

“Open up a Few Zombie Brains: A Critique of Neuroimaging in Steven Schlozman’s The Zombie Autopsies. Graphic Treatment: Zombie Narratives and the Medical Image. Lorenzo Servitje and Sherryl Vint (eds). Pennsylvania State University Press. Forthcoming: Fall 2016. (25 manuscript pages)

“Contagion and Anarchy: Mathew Arnold and the Disease of Modern Life” Lorenzo Servitje and Kari Nixon (eds). Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory. Palgrave Macmillan. (25 manuscript pages)

 “The Making of a Modern Endemic: An Introduction.” Co-authored with Kari Nixon. Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory. Lorenzo Servitje and Kari Nixon (eds). (24 manuscript pages)


“‘Triumphant Health’: Joseph Conrad and Tropical Medicine.” Literature and Medicine. Accepted December 29, 2015. Forthcoming in 35.1 (2016) (30 Manuscript Pages)

 “H5N1 for Angry Birds: Plague Inc., Mobile Games, and the Biopolitics of Outbreak Narratives.” Science Fiction Studies. Forthcoming in issue 46.128 (March 2016). (32 manuscript pages)

“Birthed from the Clinic: The Degenerate Medical Students of Edward Berdoe’s St. Bernard’s.” Critical Survey. Special issue on Victorian Science. 27.2 (2015): 21-35

“Digital Mortification of Literary Flesh: Computational Logistics and Violences of Remediation in Visceral Games’ Dante’s Inferno.” Games and Culture 9.5 (2014): 368-388

“Keep Your Mind in the Gutter: Engendering Empathy through Participatory Delusion in the Graphic Adaptation of Shutter Island.” Journal of Medical Humanities 36.3 (2015): 81-198(Online First version published November 2013)

Book Reviews

“Gothic Devices.” Review of Justin Edwards (ed). Technologies of the Gothic: Technogothics. Forthcoming in Science Fiction Studies 46.129 (6 manuscript pages).

“If It Looks Like a Duck.” Review of Sylvia A. Pamboukian, Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle. Journal of Medical Humanities 34.3 (2013): 407-09

“Trepanning Fin de Siècle Popular Fiction.” Review of Anne Stiles. Popular Fiction and Brain Science in the Late Nineteenth Century. Science Fiction Studies 40.121 (2013)

Honors & Awards –

Teaching Fellow, University Writing Program, UC Riverside, 2015

Distinguished Teaching Assistant, Graduate Division, UC Riverside, 2015

Graduate Research Mentorship Program Fellowship, UC Riverside, 2014

Outstanding Teaching Assistant, UC Riverside, 2014

University of California Humanities Research Institute Multi-Campus Workshop Grant “Cultures of Science” (Graduate Student Researcher), 2013

Chancellor’s Fellowship, UC Riverside, 2012

Recent Presentations –

“‘The Average of Accidents’:  Probability, Statistics, and Biopolitics in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.” Modern Language Association. Austin, TX. January 7-10

“The Working Dead: Clinical Labor of the Working Poor in the late Victorian Medical Education.” Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts. Houston, TX. November 12-15

“Coloniapathic Maladies: Joseph Conrad, Tropical Medicine, and Empire.” North American Victorian Studies Association. University of Honolulu. Honolulu, HI. July 9-12

 “Graphic Medicine Contracts the Zombie Craze.” Comics and Medicine. University of California, Riverside. Riverside, CA. June 26-8

 “Shaped by Medicine and the Military: Charles Kingsley’s Two Years Ago, Masculinity and the Militarization of Public Health.” Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century. University of Hull, Yorkshire, UK.  May 20-21

“Mobilizing Victorian Medicine.” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies. Georgia Institute of Technology. Atlanta, GA. April 16-19

“‘Battle with This Terrible and Mysterious Enemy’: Public Health and Warfare in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” North American Victorian Studies Association. London, Canada. November 2014

“‘The Gas in those Bubbles’: Discursive Fluidity of Noxious Gas in Willkie Collin’s Armadale.” Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. October 2014

“Black Hats on White Coats: Anxiogenic and Pathogenic Medical Students in Edward Berdoe’s St. Bernard’s.” Anxious Forms: Bodies in Crisis in Victorian Literature and Culture. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, England. August 2014

“Remembrance of Genes Passed: Remembrance of Genes Past: Epiphylogenetic Memory and Posthumanism in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed.” Eaton Science Fiction Conference. University of California, Riverside, Riverside, April 2013

“H5N1 for Angry Birds: Interactive Outbreak Narrative and the Social Constructions of Pandemics in Ndemic’s iPhone game Plague Inc.” Popular Culture/American Culture Conference Washington D.C. March 2013

“Inertial Anodynes and Amnesiacs: Imperialism, Nationalism, and Epistle in Joyce’s Ulysses.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. Seattle University, Seattle, WA. October 2012

“Beyond Pharmakonology: Walter Benjamin’s Anesthetic Intoxication and Profane illumination in Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market.’” (dis)junctions. University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, April 2012

“Empathy in the Gutter: Participatory Delusion in Graphic Adaptation of Shutter Island.” Comics and Medicine. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, July 2012

Service –

GSEA President, 2013-14

Committee Member, Graduate Academic Integrity Committee, 2013

Representative, UCR Graduate Students in English Association, 2012-13

Support Team, UCR Graduate Students in English Association, 2011-12

Chair, Fundraising Committee, UCR (dis)junctions Conference, 2012