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Medicine and Its Publics

Leaders: Lisa Keränen, University of Colorado at Denver; J. Blake Scott, University of Central Florida

Medicine and Its Publics 

Lisa Keränen, University of Colorado at Denver
J. Blake Scott, University of Central Florida 

In recent decades, the medical establishment has faced numerous critiques and calls to change from various stakeholders seeking recognition and influence. How have these stakeholders and larger publics rhetorically engaged medicine, and with what effects? What sites of engagement and specific medical practices invite rhetorical analysis? And what hybrid methodologies might rhetoricians craft to study medicine’s discourses and practices? Beyond providing an overview of extant veins of scholarship in medical rhetoric in its broadest contours, this workshop will address two more specific lines of inquiry: 1) how biomedicine and advocacy efforts (e.g., patient groups, public health movements, policy initiatives) mutually influence one another, and 2) how new technologies are reshaping how patients and publics rhetorically “interface” with medicine. Presented primarily through case studies, both areas will enable participants to draw on a range of rhetorical work, including that about risk, social movements, and new media. After using these discussions to talk and think about methodology in more concrete terms, most of the workshop will be dedicated to helping participants develop their own medical rhetoric research projects in conversation with the facilitators and other attendees.

Questions? Contact Lisa Keränen,

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