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PhD student Vivian Delchamps is 2018 recipient of EDIS Scholarship

October 2, 2018

Vivian Delchamps is an English PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Delchamps works on nineteenth-century American literature and disability studies, medical humanities, and gender studies. Her dissertation will contemplate the literary writings of both doctors and patients in nineteenth-century America.

In her project, “Emily Dickinson’s Medical Knowledge,” Delchamps surveys a wide range of critics from the late 19th century to today who use Dickinson’s poetry and letters to assign her a medical diagnosis, or who interpret her poems as mere reflections of an underlying illness. Delchamps juxtaposes these diagnostic readings with Dickinson’s own writings about doctors, diagnosis, and medical treatments. Dickinson perceived a connection between medicine and literature, appropriating medical methods in her writings even as she crafted metaphors and metonymies that challenged diagnostic claims to truth. By arguing that Dickinson had an intellectual interest in the medical practices of her day and was an acute observer of the enigmatic nature of health, Delchamps aims to contribute to the establishment of Dickinson as a significant figure in medical humanities and disability studies.

More information here.