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Priscilla Wald, Associate Professor of English, and Associate Professor of Women's Studies

Priscilla Wald
Contact Info:
Office Location:  327B Allen Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2741
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2023):

    Gray 319, MW 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
    (also cross-listed as DOCST 370S.01, ENVIRON 385S.01, SCISOC 360S.01)
    Allen 326, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as ARTHIST 238.01)

Ph.D.Columbia University1989
Special Candidate, Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and ResearchColumbia University1987
M.A.Columbia University1981
B.A.Yale University1980

American Literature
Medicine and Literature
Science and Literature
Law and Literature
Gender & Sexuality Studies
African American Literature
Modern to Contemporary
Critical Theory
Research Interests: American Literature; Literature and Medicine; Literature and Science; Literature and Law

Priscilla Wald teaches and works on U.S. literature and culture, particularly literature of the late-18th to mid-20th centuries. Her current work focuses on the intersections among the law, literature, science and medicine. She is currently completing two projects, one on contagion, culture and the evolution of the outbreak narrative, and the other work on the public understanding of the genome sciences. She is especially interested in analyzing how the language, narratives and images in the popular media register and promote a particular understanding of the science that is steeped in (often misleading) cultural biases and assumptions. In her research, her teaching and her professional activities, she is committed to promoting conversations among scholars from science, medicine, law and cultural studies in order to facilitate a richer understanding of these issues. Wald is the author of Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form. She is also associate editor of American Literature as well as on the Advisory Committee of the PMLA and the editorial board of Literature and Medicine. She has a secondary appointment in Women's Studies, is on the steering committee of the Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy and for ISIS (Information Sciences + Information Studies), the internal advisory committee of the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and is an affiliate of the Center for Medical Ethics and Humanities.

Areas of Interest:

American Literature & Culture
Late 18th-mid 20th Century Literature
Intersections of Law, Literature, & Medicine


U.S. • Literature • Culture • Law • Medicine

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Shea Bigsby  
  • Patrick Morgan  
  • Christopher Ramos  
  • Brenna M Casey  
  • Kita Douglas  
  • Marina S. Magloire  
  • Sara Seeskin  
  • Lauren Pawlak  
  • Rebecca Evans  
  • Mary Lingold  
  • Cheryl Spinner  
  • Michelle Koerner  
  • Gerry Canavan  
  • Frances McDonald  
  • Lynne Feeley  
  • Pete Moore  
  • Clare Callahan  
  • Damienadia Marassa  
  • William Hunt  
  • Kevin Modestino  
  • Colby Bogie  
  • Sarah M. McLaughlin  
  • Allison S Curseen  
  • Jessica D Bardill  
  • Erica N Fretwell  
  • Tony Tost  
  • Patrick P. Jagoda  
  • Vin Nardizzi  
  • Jene Schoenfeld  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Wald, P, Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative (2008), Duke University Press  [abs]
  2. Wald, P, Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form (1995), Duke UP (second printing, 1998.)  [abs]
  3. Wald, P, “Geonomics: the Spaces and Races of Citizenship in the Genome Age”, in America–From Near and Far: Varieties of American Experience, edited by Raphael, ML; Wilhelm, C (2007), Department of Religion, William and Mary College
  4. with J. Clayton, K.F.C. Holloway, Genomics in Literature, the Visual Arts, and Culture, special issue, Literature and Medicine (Spring, 2007)
  5. Blood and Stories: How Genomics is Changing Race, Medicine, and Human History, Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 40 no. 4/5 (November, 2006)