McGill University, BA, MA
University of British Columbia, PhD

I teach courses in history and theory of rhetoric, and rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine. My research interests are both interdisciplinary, under the headings of “Science and Technology Studies” and “Health Humanities,” and disciplinary, under the heading of “Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.” I am currently completing a book manuscript, titled, “Public Discourse/Personal Experience: Living in the Idiom of Health and Illness at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century.” It has chapters on pain, breast cancer, “female sexual dysfunction,” aging, and more—and details ways in which, through processes of persuasion, public values are taken up in individual bodies. I am currently beginning a project, titled, “Beyond Decline and ‘Successful Aging’: Toward a New Public Discourse on Being and Becoming Old.” This work seeks to dislodge aging, as much as possible, from the discourse of health itself. (I am indebted to Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland’s “against health” thesis). Within hierarchies of the human in the west, being old is a low state, typically associated with diminishment—and it is not rescued by a rhetoric of “successful aging,” a neoliberal rhetoric associated with the inequitably-distributed possibility of agelessness. If we have become persuaded that old age is a condition to be dreaded, even despised, then, is it possible, through reframing, to become persuaded that it isn’t?

I have been a member of the President’s Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a Distinguished Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and recipient of a Killam Teaching Prize. I am author of Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine.

English 309. Rhetoric of Science and Medicine


English 310. History and Theory of Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric and Contemporary Persuasion


English 491. Honours seminar. Rhetoric(s) of Dispute in Health and Medicine

Selected Publication

  • “The Rhetoric of Female Sexual Dysfunction: Faux Feminism and the FDA. Canadian Medical Association Journal 187, 12 (8 September 2015): 915-916.
  • “The View from Here and There: Objectivity and the Rhetoric of Breast Cancer.” In Flavia Padovani, Jonathan Tsou, and Alan Richardson, eds., Objectivity in Science: Approaches to Historical Epistemology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015. 211-226.
  • “Suffering and the Rhetoric of Care.” In Michael Hyde and James Herrick, eds., After the Genome: The Language of Our Biotechnological Future. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2013. 219-234.
  • Blake Scott, Judy Z. Segal, and Lisa Keränen. “Rhetoric of Health and Medicine: Inventional Possibilities for Scholarship and Engaged Practice.” Poroi: An Interdisci`plinary Journal of Rhetoric Analysis and Invention. 9,1 (2013). .
  • Breast Cancer and Its Narration: An Accidental Study.” Literature and Medicine 30, 2 (2012): 292-318.
  • “The Sexualization of the Medical. Journal of Sex Research 49, 4 (2012): 269-278.
  • “What, in Addition to Drugs, Do Pharmaceutical Ads Sell?”: The Rhetoric of Pleasure in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Prescription Pharmaceuticals.” In Deborah Dysart-Gale and Joan Leach, eds. Rhetorical Questions of Health and Medicine. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2011. 9-32.
  • Miriam Solomon, Wm Young, Judy Segal and Stephanie Geiger. “Medication Adaptation Headache.” Cephalalgia 31, 5 (2011): 515-517.
  • “Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.” In Andrea Lunsford et al, eds. Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009. 227-246.
  • “Internet Health and the 21st-Century Patient: A Rhetorical View. Written Communication 26 (October 2009): 351-369.