Bernice L. Hausman, PhD

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1992 …2024

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Teaching and educational interests

    Throughout her career and across disciplines, Dr. Bernice Hausman has taught courses in feminist and critical theory, medical humanities, medical rhetoric and women's literature. At Penn State College of Medicine, she teaches in the Humanities and Systems curricula and leads curricular development concerning Humanities in undergraduate medical education. She teaches a Humanities 4th-year selective called "Literature, Medicine, and Culture: Pandemics."

    Dr. Hausman has an appointment as graduate faculty at Penn State and is available to serve on doctoral committees in her areas of expertise, which include the history of medicine; medical rhetoric; and women's, gender, and sexuality studies; as well as health humanities and bioethics.

    Research interests

    Dr. Bernice Hausman joined the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine in 2018, after 23 years in the English department at Virginia Tech. She studies medical controversies in the public sphere. Her publications address the history of gender variance, breastfeeding and maternal embodiment and vaccination controversy.

    Dr. Hausman received her training in literature and feminist studies programs at Yale University and the University of Iowa. Throughout her career, she has affiliated with various graduate programs, including Science and Technology Studies and Rhetoric and Writing. Her research approach aligns with cultural studies of medicine, emphasizing rhetoric (the framing of arguments) and semiotics (the interpretation of sign systems). Her studies of sex change, infant feeding, and vaccination demonstrate the mutual influence of medicine and culture, highlighting how modern techniques to alter natural embodiment create social controversies and demonstrating tensions in public expectations about how to be a healthy person.

    A leader in the Health Humanities, Dr. Hausman has published four single-author books and one coedited volume, as well as twenty-seven peer-reviewed journal articles. She has mentored seven doctoral students, six of whom have gone on to tenure-track positions. In her previous position she convened the Vaccination Research Group and recently, with colleagues at Penn State University Park, co-created the Viral Imaginations: COVID-19 project, which showcases submitted art work and creative writing by Pennsylvania residents about the pandemic (link found below photo).

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


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