Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies
Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies

Cells, Genes, and Stories

Wald Event Poster

Speaker: Priscilla Wald, Duke University

Date: March 1

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Building (POB) in the Avaya Auditorium (Room 2.302) (201 E 24th St // Austin, Texas 78712)

Co-Sponsor(s): Humanities Institute

Details: Priscilla Wald, Chair of the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English at Duke University, will be presenting her lecture "Cells, Genes, and Stories: HeLa's Journey from Labs to Literature." The HeLa cell line was derived from cervical cancer cells taken, without her knowledge or consent, from Henrietta Lacks, an African-American patient who died in 1951.

Professor Anthony Ryan Hatch

Priscilla Wald is a professor at Duke University who teaches and works on U.S. literature and culture, particularly literature of the late-18th to mid-20th centuries, contemporary narratives of science and medicine, science fiction literature and film, and environmental studies. Her current work focuses on the intersections among the law, literature, science and medicine. Dr. Wald examines how information emerging from research in the genome sciences circulates through language and narratives, and how those narratives "register and promote a particular understanding of science that is steeped in (often misleading) cultural biases and assumptions." Dr. Wald is author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative (2007), which considers the intersection of medicine and myth in the idea of contagion and the evolution of the contemporary stories we tell about the global health problem of "emerging infections."

For more on Dr. Wald and her work, please visit here

  • Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    Calhoun Hall 226
    204 W. 21st Street B5000
    Austin, Texas 78712

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