Manic Minds: Mania's Mad History and Its Neuro Future (Rutgers UP, 2011) is what I call a "rhetorical history" of the maniac: how is mania as madness defined/described in textbooks? how are the images of the mad, crazy, insane, lunatic, abnormal represented? how do we explain the profound fear and fascination with madness? how do we recognize our own madness? The book argues that mania has never been stabilized as a modern medicalized disorder. The manifestation of "mania" in American psychiatry has emerged fluid from pre-professional to professional psychiatry and now persists frenzied into the neuro-future. This book charts a new direction in the ontological politics of mania, pointing not necessarily to something more disciplined and reasonable, but to something more neurologically radical and (hopefully) better.
I am currently working with Elizabeth Goins, Lisa Rosner, and the College of Physicians on an NEH-sponsored project, "Pox in the City: A Digital Role-Playing Game in the History of Medicine." http://poxandthecity.blogspot.com/
I am also working with Elizabeth Goins, who is an amazing collaborator, on a paper accepted to Meaningful Play 2012. The paper is titled "Hysteria: An Experiment in Historic Interactive Game Narrative." It is a great attempt at taking a short story ("The Yellow Wall-Paper") into an interactive game space. We've found this play allows for the integration of primary sources, which clearly provide an intextual space and thus create a rich environment for the story.
Other interests: Rhetoric, Science, and Technology; History of Medicine; History of Museum as Science and Spectacle; Interactive Media for Narrative History and Cultural Heritage
SELECTED RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Manic Minds: Psychiatry's Mad History and Its Neuro Future (Rutgers University Press, 2011).
"Knights of the Seal, Or Mad Doctors and Maniacs: A.J.H. Duganne's Romance of Reform" Illness and Disability in the Gothic Ed. Ruth A. Anolik. McFarland & Company Press, 2010.
"Realizing a New Research Agenda for Writing-to-Learn: Embedding Process in Context" Cognitive Underpinnings of Learning. Ed. Marc Marshark and Peter C. Hauser. Oxford University Press, 2008. Lisa M. Hermsen and Scott V. Franklin.
"Take a WAC at Writing in Your Course." ACM Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education Conference Proceedings, 2008. Steven Zilora and Lisa M. Hermsen.
"Writing in an Introductory Physics Lab: Correlating English Quality with Physics Content" Transactions of the Physics Education Research Conference (2006). Dedra Demaree, Cat Gubernatist, Jessica Hanzlik, Scott Franklin, Lisa Hermsen, and Gordon Aubrecht.
"Rhetoric of the Image: Issues of Disciplinary Integrity" Journal of the Humanities 1 (2003): 612-620.
A Review of Mary Stange Zeiss, Ed., "Heart Shots." WSQ: Women and Sports. Spring/Summer (2005): 267-270.