PeopleGraduate Students

Delchamps, Vivian

American Literature; Disability Studies; African American Studies; Native American & Indigenous Studies; Health Humanities; Gender Studies; Dance & Performance Studies; Writing Pedagogy
Doctoral Candidate, Degree Expected June 2022, She/Her
The Names of Sickness: Writing Disability and Revising Diagnosis in Nineteenth-Century America



Vivian Delchamps is an English PhD candidate at UCLA, where she also holds Concentration Certificates in Gender Studies and Writing Pedagogy. She researches and teaches feminist disability studies, American literature, race studies, and the health humanities. Her dissertation project, The Names of Sickness, investigates the role analogy plays in communicating embodied experiences. Her project reads an unruly archive of texts by Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Frances E.W. Harper as well as letters, journal entries, and medical books to assert that literature reveals the endurance and creativity of (dis)abled women during times of political-medical crisis.
Delchamps has also undertaken projects in Native American and Indigineous Studies, black feminist theory, and animal studies. She develops experimental pedagogies, such as methods for “Teaching Poetry Through Dance” (2018). In service to the Disability Law Journal at UCLA and the Center for Accessible Education, Delchamps advocates for disabled people, people with undiagnosed disabilities, and people who for cultural and professional reasons cannot or do not wish to identify as disabled.



  • C.Phil UCLA 2018
  • MA UCLA 2017
  • B.A., Scripps College 2014




  • “Invisible Illness Narratives in the United States,” in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Health Humanities. Edited by Paul Crawford and Paul Kadetz. Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming Jan. 2022).
  • “Rattlesnake Kinship: Indigeneity, Disability, Animality.” Disability Studies Quarterly (forthcoming Dec. 2021).
  • “‘A Slight Hysterical Tendency’: Performing Diagnosis in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” In Performing Hysteria: Images and Imaginations of Hysteria. Edited by Johanna Braun. Leuven UP (2020)
  • “‘The Names of Sickness’: Emily Dickinson, Diagnostic Reading, and Articulating Disability.” The Emily Dickinson Journal (2019).“Teaching Poetry Through Dance.” In Poetry and Pedagogy Across the Lifespan: Disciplines, Classrooms, Contexts. Edited by Sandra Lee Kleppe and Angela Sorby. Palgrave Macmillan (2018).

Interest Areas
• American Literature & Culture
• Disability Studies
• African American Literature & Culture / Black Diaspora Studies
• Native American and Indigenous Studies