Marcia Nichols, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, CLI
Bachelor of Arts, English, from Missouri State University in 2000; Masters of Art, English, from Missouri State University in 2002; Doctor of Philosophy, English, from the University of South Carolina in 2010
Teaching at UMR
As a teacher, I strive to give students the tools to interrogate the images and words that surround them so they can become thinking agents. I hope to enrich students’ understanding of themselves and their worlds by locating literature in larger historical and social frameworks. This can be highly disconcerting at times, but by practicing vulnerability in the classroom and by introducing a variety of voices and perspectives, I strive to make it a rewarding one.
Exploring issues of identity, my research falls within two main areas, pedagogical inquiry and research into the history of medicine and literature. As a literary scholar I have been trained to engage in broad discursive analysis to tease out the ways in which literary works both reflect and help form culture. I have brought those skills to pedagogical inquiry to examine not only the impact of cross-disciplinary student learning but also the identities and beliefs of university instructors. My disciplinary research centers on medical history, specifically on the history of obstetrics and gynecology and the intersections of gender and race. Both prongs of my research seek to better understand the ways in which identity, including gender and race, impacts the formation and dissemination of knowledge, and even what counts as knowledge. Moreover, my disciplinary research impacts my ability to relate literature to the health sciences.
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