HMNSS Building

Medical and Health Humanities Studies Minor (MHHS) Participating Faculty

Tide Series
"Colgate Flotsam" 
 Cindy Stelmackowich, Canadian Artist and Sculptor, from Plastic Tide Series


Faculty Directors

Matthew King, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Director of Asian Studies

King’s teaching and research focus on Tibetan and Mongolian religious identities in their transnational contexts. Specific interests include Buddhism, science, medicine, and secularism in Inner Asia; Buddhist economics; and the global circulation of knowledge about Buddhism and Buddhist peoples.

Carla Mazzio, Associate Professor of English

Mazzio’s teaching and research focus on early modern literary and cultural histories of medicine, science, and health, with special interests in disability studies, trauma studies, ecology and embodiment, narrative medicine, and histories of air and breathing across cultures and media forms.

Fuson Wang, Assistant Professor of English

Wang specializes in British Romantic literature, disability studies, and the medical and health humanities. His work examines historical and literary accounts of vaccination and smallpox.

Supporting Faculty

Courtney R. Baker, Associate Professor

Baker specializes in visual culture and Black life in American, and African diasporic literature, film, and visual art, with strong interests in trauma, the work of mourning, and the ethics of representation; death studies, and reparative aesthetic forms and practices across the arts. 

Gloria Chan-Sook Kim, Assistant Professor
Media & Culture Studies

Chan-Sook Kim’s research and teaching focus on media, the Anthropocene, microbes, and health.

Lucille Chia, Professor

Professor Chia’s research and teaching examine the social and cultural history of middle and late imperial China, with additional interests in food and Chinese medicine.

María Regina Firmino-Castillo, Assistant Professor

Firmino-Castillo is a performative artist, cultural worker, and transdisciplinary researcher working at the intersections of performance and critical dance studies, decolonial studies, critical anthropology, and environmental philosophy. Her work explores Mayan performance as a praxis of survivance and wellness in the face of genocide and its ontological violence.

Katie Ford, Professor
Creative Writing

Ford is an award-winning poet whose work explores illness and dying. Her teaching interests include international poetry, the lyric tradition, and the shapely creation of poems and poetry manuscripts.

Kimberly Guerrero, Assistant Professor
Theater, Film, and Digital Production

Guerrero’s practice-based research centers around righting the misrepresentation and under-representation of Native peoples in mainstream media. She works with tribes to create compelling PSAs, music videos, and documentaries many of which have a health focus.

Allison Hedge Coke, Distinguished Professor
Creative Writing

Hedge Coke is an award-winning poet/writer whose work explores the environment, migration, labor, incarcerated youth, underserved communities, and narrative medicine, with career devotion to serving Indigenous communities.

Tamara Ho, Associate Professor
Gender & Sexuality Studies

Professor Ho’s new research and teaching examine the intersection of gender, race, and medicine. She uses disability studies to examine the discourse and experience of cancer.

Matthew King, Associate Professor
Religious Studies

King’s teaching and research focus on Tibetan and Mongolian religious identities in their transnational contexts. Specific interests include Buddhism, science, medicine, and secularism in Inner Asia; Buddhist economics; and the global circulation of knowledge about Buddhism and Buddhist peoples.

Jeanette Kohl, Associate Professor
Art History

Kohl’s research and teaching focus on images and cultural concepts of the Italian Renaissance, portraiture, sculpture and materiality, and the role of the human body in art.

Antoine Lentacker, Assistant Professor

Lentacker’s research and teaching explore the relations between the history of media and the history of science and medicine in modern Europe. He has a special interest in the history of drugs.

David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor

Lloyd‘s research and teaching focus on postcolonial literature and theory, with special attention to histories and politics of famine and food scarcity in nineteenth century Ireland and contemporary Los Angeles.

Goldberry Long, Associate Professor of Teaching
Creative Writing

Long is a fiction writer. Her writing inspired her to develop a mandatory writing program for UCR’s medical students aimed at fostering more empathy.

Luis Lara Malvacias, Assistant Professor

Malvacias is a Venezuelan choreographer and trans-disciplinary artist. His body of work has focused on ideas of transformation, multiplicity, authorship, and the role of the audience in dance performance. Using signposts connected with life and aging, his work looks into issues surrounding mature dance makers and inquires into the relationship of body thinking, body processing, body making, and body performing.

Allison (Bella) Merlin, Professor
Theater, Film, and Digital Production

Merlin's work focuses on understanding pragmatic skills of communication, presentation, and public speaking, as well as physical presence and voice production, to the more humanitarian skills of empathy, compassion, and “dynamic listening. ”

Yolanda Moses, Professor

Moses’s research focuses on the origins of social inequality in complex societies, with particular attention to inequity in contexts of higher education, race, and health. 

Worku Nida, Assistant Professor of Teaching

Nida’s research and teaching span Africa, the United States, and the Middle East with foci on social change, entrepreneurialism, migration, identity, ethnohistory, and the intersection of religion and illness narratives, focusing on processes through which the Gurage (in Ethiopia) diagnose, manage, and treat culturally defined illnesses inflicted by three deities.

Emily Rapp Black, Assistant Professor
Creative Writing

Rapp Black is an award-winning author whose work explores medical ethics, genetics, disability issues, 19th-century philosophy, and the ethics of end-of-life care.

Dana Simmons, Associate Professor

Simmons’ is a historian of science and technology. Her research interests include hunger, nutrition, political economy, the human sciences, feminist theory, techno-politics, and technoscientific utopias.

Jennifer Syvertsen, Assistant Professor

Syvertsen’s work combines epidemiologic methods to describe patterns of drug use with ethnographic approaches that uniquely humanize and illuminate the powerful compulsion of drug addiction and its breadth of social and health consequences.

Annika Speer, Assistant Professor of Teaching
Theatre, Film, and Digital Production

Speer’s research interests include gender and communication, and documentary/interview-based activist theatre, with a focus on communication as critical to witnessing for medical and traumatic encounters.

Chikako Takeshita, Associate Professor
Gender & Sexuality Studies

Takeshita’s teaching and research focus on feminist studies of science, technology, & medicine; reproductive health, rights, & politics; and sustainable futures.

Clifford Trafzer, Distinguished Professor

Trafzer specializes in Native American histories of illness, genocide, and medicine.

Sherryl Vint, Professor
English and Media & Culture Studies

Vint’s teaching and research focus on science fiction, technoculture, popular culture and science, human-animal studies. Her work explores the exchanges between speculative imagination and material practice in personalized medicine, agribusiness, and other genomic research.

Ni’Ja Whitson, Assistant Professor

Whitson is a practitioner of indigenous African ritual and resistance forms, creating work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and interdisciplinary performance. Whitson engages a nexus of postmodern and African Diasporic performance practices, workshop/healing facilitation through a critical intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and spirit.

Susan Zieger, Professor

Zieger specializes in nineteenth-century British and related literature and cultures, with an emphasis on the novel, ephemera, and other mass media forms. Her book describes how metaphors of addiction such as exile, self-enslavement, and disease circulated through literature and culture to forge the new identity of the addict.


Juliet McMullin, Professor of Family Medicine, UCI

McMullin’s teaching and research examine the production of knowledge and inequality in health and medicine, focusing on fields of cancer, concepts of health and sovereignty with Native Hawaiians, and Graphic Medicine.