Margaret M. Quinlan

Margaret M. Quinlan

Director, Health & Medical Humanities Program, Full Professor, COMM
Communication Studies

I am honored to serve as the Director of the Health & Medical Humanities program at UNC Charlotte. My research and teaching explore how communication creates, resists and transforms knowledges about bodies. I critique power structures in order to empower individuals who are marginalized inside and outside of healthcare systems. I examine the nexus of public perceptions of medicine, science, and technology, both historically and presently. I investigate the role communication plays in public understandings of medical expertise, illness, wellness, caring, treatment, health, and healing. I believe that science acquires meaning through public perceptions and social interactions, interactions situated within social, political, economic, and cultural structures. As such, I also critique the interrelationships and inequities of these structures to facilitate empowering knowledge for those marginalized in traditional healthcare contexts by race, class, illness, ability, socioeconomic, and sexual and gender identity (LGTBQIA), etc., status.

Research Interests

  • Health, Organizational and Performative Communication
  • Ethnography, Narrative/Interpretive/Rhetorical/Feminist Analyses
  • Social justice issues that affect marginalized populations include disability rights and gender inequalities
  • Women’s reproductive health
  • Social media
  • Medical expertise
  • Motherhood
  • Public Perceptions of Science, Medicine and Technology,
  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Practitioner-Patient Communication
  • “Sex-selection,” infertility, infant loss, childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum issues, premature birth, maternal developmental milestones
  • fat-shame

HHUM Elective

  • COMM 3115: Health Communication
  • HHUM 3020/COMM 3051/COMM 3052: Health & Media, Topics in Health & Medical Humanities

HHUM Core Course

  • HHUM 4800: Health & Medical Humanities Capstone

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