Sami Schalk

Sami Schalk
Photo taken by Smoketree Photography of Madison, WI

Sami Schalk, Gender & Women’s Studies

Dr. Sami Schalk is an Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) and Women’s Studies from Miami University in 2008, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from University of Notre Dame in 2010, and her PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University in 2014. Dr. Schalk’s interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture, especially African American literature, speculative fiction, and women’s literature. She has published on literature, film, and material culture, such as the science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, the American Girl brand, and the image of the supercrip in Disability Studies Quarterly, Journal of Modern Literature, Girlhood Studies, Journal of Literary and Culture Disability Studies, Journal of Popular Culture and elsewhere. Dr. Schalk’s first book Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction was published by Duke University Press in Spring 2018. Within she argues that black women writers of speculative fiction reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, changing the way we read and interpret categories like (dis)ability, race, gender and sexuality within the context of these non-realist texts. Dr. Schalk’s current research focuses on disability in contemporary black activism, from the 1970s to the present. Learn more about her at

Elizabeth Bearden, English

Elizabeth B. Bearden is a Professor of English at UW-Madison. She earned her Ph. D. in Comparative Literature at NYU and her A. B. in Comparative Literature at Princeton. Bearden’s first book, The Emblematics of the Self: Ekphrasis and Identity in Renaissance Imitations of Greek Romance, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012 (ebook version 2013). Her forthcoming book, Monstrous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability, has just won the Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities and will be coming out from the Corporealities series of University of Michigan Press in 2019. She has published articles in PMLA (2006, 2017), JEMCS, Ancient Narrative Supplementum, Arizona Journal for Hispanic Cultural Studies, and E-Humanista Cervantes. She served on the Executive Committee for the MLA Forum on Disability Studies from 2012-2016. Her current book project is tentatively titled “Crip Authority: Disability and the Art of Consolation in the Global Renaissance.”

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.