Elizabeth Bearden, English

Professor Bearden is a scholar and teacher of Renaissance literature with specialization in Comparative Literature, Classics, the History of Rhetoric, Visual Culture Studies, and Disability Studies. Her first monograph, The Emblematics of the Self: Ekphrasis and Identity in Renaissance Imitations of Greek Romance,  was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012  and has been positively reviewed in leading journals. Her articles have appeared in PMLA, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Ancient Narrative Supplementum, and Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies. Her current book project, “Monstrous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability,” investigates early modern representations of disability in the global Renaissance. She has served on the Executive Committee for the MLA Forum on Disability Studies since 2012 and will Chair the committee in 2016.

Teryl Dobbs, Music Education and Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education

Teryl’s research interests include investigating the musical representations of trauma related to the Shoah; interrogating notions of ability and disability within music education; and exploring preservice music educators’ constructions of teaching identity and praxis. In addition to being an active wind band clinician and guest conductor, she presents papers at national and international conferences, most recently at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Denver, Colorado, and the 29th ISME World Conference in Beijing, China. Her work has been published in The Mountain Lake Reader, The Bulletin of the Council of Research in Music Education, and Advances in Music Education Research: Diverse Methodologies in the Study of Music Teaching and Learning. Teryl’s teaching responsibilities include courses in undergraduate music teacher preparation, pedagogy, ability/disability studies in music education, and current issues in music education. She advises graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in music education and serves on committees for students pursuing doctoral degrees in performance and conducting.


Jenell Johnson

Jenell Johnson, Communication Arts

My research interests include the rhetoric of science and medicine, disability studies, and science and technology studies. My work focuses on the social, political, and epistemological dimensions of nonexpert engagement with science and medicine, including issues involved in transdisciplinary research. My book American Lobotomy, part of the University of Michigan’s Corporealities series, explores how representations of lobotomy in US popular culture contributed to the development, decline, and resurgence of psychosurgery in US medicine. Currently, I am working on two new book projects: a monograph on the rhetoric of bioethics, and an edited collection on biocitizenship. In addition to my position in Communication Arts, I am affiliated faculty in the Departments of Life Sciences Communication and Gender and Women’s Studies, and serve on the steering committees of the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies and the Disability Studies Initiative. For more on my research, see my website (


Ellen Samuels

Ellen Samuels, Gender and Women’s Studies, English

Ellen Samuels is Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race (NYU Press, 2014). Her critical writing has appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Feminist Disability Studies, GLQ, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, The Disability Studies Reader (4th ed.), and many other journals and anthologies. She has won two Lambda Literary Awards and received the Catherine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship in 2011. She is working on two new books, a research project titled Double Meanings: Representing Conjoined Twins and a memoir titled Body of Mine: A Memoir in Genetic Sequence. She teaches classes on feminist body theory, queer body politics, gender and disability, American literature, and creative nonfiction.

Morton Gernsbacher, Psychology


Morton Gernsbacher

Morton Gernsbacher is Vilas Research Professor and the Sir Frederic C. Bartlett Professor of Psychology at the UW. Gernsbacher has served as President of the 25,000-member Association for Psychological Science, President of the Society for Text and Discourse, President of the Division of Experimental Psychology of the APA, President of the Foundation for the Advancement for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Member-at-Large of the American Association for the Advancement in Science, Chair of the APA Board of Scientific Affairs, member of the Psychonomic Society Governing Board, the Medical Affairs Committee of the National Alliance for Autism Research, and the Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation. She currently serves on the Scientific Program committee for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Gernsbacher’s research has for over 30 years investigated the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie human communication. She has published over 150 journal articles and invited chapters. She has authored or edited 10 books, including Language Comprehension as Structure Building (Erlbaum, 1990); the Handbook of Psycholinguistics (Academic Press, 1994; Elsevier, 2006); Coherence in Spontaneous Text (Benjamins, 1995), the Handbook of Discourse Processes (Erlbaum, 2002), and two editions of Psychology and the Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to Society (Worth, 2010; 2014). Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control, and several private foundations.