Humanities, Health, and Disability Studies Working Group


Margie Hodges Shaw, JD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Bioethics
Division of Medical Humanities and Bioethics
University of Rochester Medical Center

Stephanie Brown Clark, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Medical Humanities
Director, Division of Medical Humanities
Course Director, Medical Humanities Seminars
University of Rochester Medical Center

Richard Demme, MD, FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine and Humanities
University of Rochester Medical Center

Richard Demme, MD remains a practicing nephrologist. Most of his clinical work is with dialysis and kidney transplant patients.

He has been the Chair of the URMC Ethics Committee since 2002, and is the Director of the URMC Clinical Ethics Service. He is the also the URMC Bioethics Program Director and Co-director of the URMC Division of Medical Humanities and Bioethics. His interests include ethical issues in transplantation, end of life care ethics, and the history of research ethics. Dr. Demme has collected over 330 popular movies that show, discuss, mention or allude to organ retrieval and/or transplantation. He has prepared several presentations using movie clips to demonstrate perceptions of the public about transplantation. Use of movies remains an effective way to begin conversations about topics in the Humanities.

Clayton J. Baker, MD, CM
Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Richard H. Dees, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Medical Humanities
Chair, Steering Committee for Public Health-Related Majors
Department of Philosophy
University of Rochester

Hobart and William Smith Colleges:

Eric Barnes, PhD
Associate Professor, Philosophy

Eric Barnes teaches moral philosophy, public policy and biomedical ethics. His research focuses on contemporary moral theory, as well as issues in medical ethics. Some of his work in moral theory concerns the role of game theory solving certain puzzles in utilitarianism and contractarianism, while other work concerns understanding familiar moral ideas, such as righteous indignation and slippery slope arguments. His research in the field of bioethics has analyzed the arguments for and against the legalization of medical marijuana and, more recently, about autism therapy in the United States and in China. He also coaches the HWS Debate Team and publishes about debating theory.

Sarah Berry, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
English Department

Sarah Berry's research examines race, gender, and the politics of health in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, including slave narratives, fiction, science journalism, and autobiography. She has published in Academic Medicine and has forthcoming an essay in the Journal of Medical Humanities about slavery and medicine; an essay with Anthony Cerulli in Mosaic on Nathaniel Hawthorne and competing medical ideologies; 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 serves on the Health Professions Steering Committee at HWS and her courses include Stories of Illness and Healing, Cultures of Medicine, 19th-Century Women Healers, and Health and Social Justice.

Anthony Cerulli, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Religious Studies

Anthony Cerulli works on associations of religion, medicine, and politics in South Asia. He is currently writing a book on the modern history of medical education among indigenous medical systems in India during and in the aftermath of British colonialism. He is the author of "Somatic Lessons: Narrating Patienthood and Illness in Indian Medical Literature" (2012) and co-editor of "Medical Texts and Manuscripts in Indian Cultural History" (2013).

Lester Friedman, PhD
Professor and Chair
Media and Society

Lester D. Friedman, currently chair of the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, was a faculty member in the Humanities and Bioethics Programs at SUNY Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse) and the Feinberg School of Medicine (Northwestern University). With a formal background in literature, Les focuses his research on the interconnections between medical culture and mass media, particularly film and television. He is the editor of Cultural Sutures: Essays on Medicine and Media (Duke University Press), as well as co-editor of Pictures of Health: Bioethics and the Movies (Oxford University Press) and the Health and Humanities Reader (Rutgers University Press). He also sits on the editorial board for "The Journal of Medical Humanities." His textbook on film genres (Norton) will be published in November, and he is currently writing a book on the cultural history of Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein."

Greg Frost-Arnold, PhD
Associate Professor, Philosophy

Karen Frost-Arnold, PhD
Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Karen Frost-Arnold is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. My research focuses on the epistemology and ethics of trust. In my research and teaching I ask the following questions: What is trust? What is the role of trust in knowledge and science? How can I be a responsible & trustworthy knower in a world of power and privilege? Why have feminist philosophers found trust to be a particularly useful concept? How can I be trustworthy in my personal life, professional life, leadership role, and civic life? What is betrayal? How is trust betrayed and manipulated by individuals and institutions?

Jessica Hayes-Conroy, PhD
Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies

Jessica Hayes-Conroy is an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her research interests center on food activism, critical nutrition, and visceral/bodily difference. She is also engaged in work on environmental health and feminist political ecology. Jessica recently co-edited a collection of essays on critical approaches to nutrition science and practice. She also recently conducted research in Fukushima, Japan, that explores the daily impacts of radiation contamination across lines of social and spatial difference.

Gloria Kim, PhD
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Media and Society

Derek Linton, PhD
Professor of History

Derek S. Linton is Professor of History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His most recent book is Emil von Behring: Infectious Disease, Immunology, Serum Therapy (2005) which won the John Frederick Lewis Award of the American Philosophical Society. He is presently completing a book on German military hygiene and the prevention and control of infectious diseases during World War I. His research interests include early bacteriology and immunology in Germany, the consequences of medical technology, and the ways in which the rise of medical ethics since the 1970s has hampered clinical and drug research.

Susan Pliner, Ed.D.
Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Director, Centennial Center for Leadership
Assistant Professor, Education Department


Diane R. Wiener, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Director, Disability Cultural Center (Division of Student Affairs)
Research Associate Professor (School of Education)
Syracuse University

Rebecca Garden, PhD
Associate Professor of Bioethics and Humanities
Executive Director, Consortium for Culture and Medicine
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Eric v. d. Luft
Adjunct Lecturer
Center for Bioethics and Humanities
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Maura Brady, PhD
Associate Professor of English
O'Connell Professor of the Humanities
LeMoyne College

Margaret A. Turk, MD
Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pediatrics
SUNY Upstate Medical University

William D. Grant, EdD
Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education
Professor, Emergency Medicine
Professor, Family Medicine
SUNY Upstate Medical University

William N. Myhill, M.Ed., J.D.
Director of Legal Research & Writing
Burton Blatt Institute (BBI)
Adjunct Professor, College of Law
Faculty Associate, Center for Digital Literacy
Syracuse University

Christopher P. Morley, Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Family
Medicine Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Public Health & Psychiatry
Director, Central Region Office, New York State AHEC
System S.U.N.Y. Upstate Medical University


Jane Jankowski, LMSW, MSB
Clinical Ethicist & Assistant Professor
Center for Bioethics Education and Research
Alden March Bioethics Institute
Albany Medical College

Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Alden March Bioethics Institute & Dept. of OBGYN
Albany Medical College

Surrounding Regions:

Stuart Kinsinger
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto

Stuart Kinsinger, DC, MA teaches an on-line ethics course at NYCC in Seneca Falls and in person at CMCC in Toronto, both chiropractic colleges. Recent activity:

  • Beneficence and the professional’s moral imperative. J Chiro Humanities, 16(1), 2009, 44-46
  • Ethics Education in Chiropractic Colleges: a North American survey. JMPT, 35(6) 2012: 486-490
  • Chiropractic Leadership in the eradication of sexual abuse. J Can Chiro Assoc, 56(1), 2012: 66-75
  • Continuing education for health professionals on ethics and boundaries: a survey of the chiropractic profession. ASBH Poster presentation, 2012, Washington, DC.

Erik Parens, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar
The Hastings Center
Garrison, NY

Angela Laflen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Marist College

Michael Blizzard, MS
Director of Research Operations, Urology Center Research Institute, Englewood, New Jersey
Institutional Review Board, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Paterson, New Jersey
Research Advisory Committee, Society of Clinical Research Associates, Northern New Jersey Chapter
Board of Directors, ARC of Union County, Springfield, NJ

Lee A. Talley, PhD
Associate Professor
English Department
Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ


PI: Sarah Berry, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
English Department


Co-PI Lester Friedman, PhD
Professor and Chair
Media and Society


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.