Associate Professor and Chair of Biomedical Humanities
Director, Center for Literature and Medicine
B.A., The University of Iowa
PG Dip, Nottingham Trent University
Ph.D., Duke University
Erin Gentry Lamb is Associate Professor and Chair of Biomedical Humanities and Director of the Center for Literature and Medicine at Hiram College in Ohio. Prior to coming to Hiram in 2009, she taught in the Women’s Studies and English departments at Duke University, where she completed her PhD in English in 2008. Prior to Duke, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in International Cultural Studies at Nottingham Trent University in England, and a BA in English and Aging Studies at The University of Iowa.
Her research and teaching interests center on exploring cultural representations of medicine, science and technology; in particular, she is interested in aging, death and dying, disability, bioethics, health care, genetics and new biotechnologies. She loves to teach wide-ranging interdisciplinary classes that are as likely to scour an article in Science as an episode of The Simpsons.
In part inspired by Hiram’s Biomedical Humanities major, which was the first full major in health humanities offered in the United States beginning in 1998, she has been researching the pedagogy of health humanities at the baccalaureate level, including co-authoring a comprehensive report on Baccalaureate Health Humanities Programs in the United States (http://www.hiram.edu/centers-of-distinction/litmed/baccalaureate-health-humanities) and co-editing a special issue of The Journal of Medical Humanities focused on “Pre-Health Humanities” (2017). Her scholarly work appears in such publications as The Journal of Medical Humanities, The Health and Humanities Reader, The International Journal of Aging and Society, and Age, Culture, Humanities. A founding member and current co-chai r of the North American Network in Aging Studies, she has previously chaired the executive committee of the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Forum on Age Studies and the National Women’s Studies Association’s Aging and Ageism Caucus, and currently serves on the executive committee of the MLA’s new Forum on Medical Humanities and Health Studies.
Outside of work, she can be found gardening and cooking with her husband, playing games and reading with her daughter, crafting cocktails for friends, or fostering her guilty predilections for all things frosted and lowbrow fiction.
- PhD, Duke University 2008 (English), Dissertation: The Age of Obsolescence: Senescence and Scientific Rejuvenation inTwentieth Century America
- PG Dip, Nottingham Trent University, 2002 (International Cultural Studies. Highest Distinction.)
- BA, University of Iowa, 1998 (English/Aging Studies, French Minor. Honors, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
Research and Teaching Interests
Age Studies, Health Humanities, Cultural Studies of Science and Medicine, Bioethics, Feminist Science Studies, Death and Dying, Science Fiction, Interdisciplinarity, American Literature and Culture
- Lamb, Erin Gentry. “Age and/as Disability: A Call for Conversation.” Introduction to a Curated Forum on Age and Disability, including pieces by Jane Gallop, Rüdiger Kunow, Aimi Hamraie, and Kathleen Woodward. Age, Culture, Humanities. 2.1 (Spring 2015)
- Blackie, Michael and Erin Gentry Lamb. “Courting Discomfort in an Undergraduate Health Humanities Classroom.” In Health and Humanities Reader. Eds. Therese Jones, Lester Friedman and Delese Wear. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2014. Health and Medicine Series. 490-500.
- Lamb, Erin Gentry. “’Polyester Pants and Orthopedic Shoes’: Introducing Age Studies to Traditional Undergraduates.” Age, Culture, Humanities. 1.1 (Spring 2014): 223-238.
- Blackie, Michael and Erin Gentry Lamb. “Introduction: Of Texts and Classrooms.” In “Exploring the Why, What and How of Medical Humanities Pedagogy.” A special issue of The Journal of Medical Humanities. Eds. Michael Blackie and Erin Gentry Lamb. 34.4 (Dec 2013): 413-414.
- Lamb, Erin Gentry and Jim Gentry. “The Denial of Aging in American Advertising: Empowering or Disempowering?” The International Journal of Aging and Society. 2.4 (2013): 35-47.
Sample Classes Taught at Hiram
- What is Human?
- Narrative Bioethics
- Issues in Women's Health
- Aging, Sex & the Body
- How We Die
- The Science and Culture of Sleep
- Global Health & Human Rights
- Genetics, Identity & Popular Culture
- Gimpy Geezers: Representations of Disability and Aging
Professional responsibilities and memberships
- North American Network in Aging Studies (NANAS)
- Satellite Member, Governing Council. May 2015 – Present
- Co-Chair, Executive Council. January 2013 – May 2015
- Society for Health Humanities* (working title)
- Steering Committee Member for development of this new organization – May 2015-present
- Moderator of the HealthHum listserv – March 2015-present
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
- Chair, Executive Council, MLA Age Studies Discussion Group. 2011-2012
- Electoral Candidate for Executive Council of the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Forum. 2015
- American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH)
- European Network of Aging Studies (ENAS)
- Founding representative of U.S. Partner, NWSA Aging and Ageism Caucus.
- National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
- Co-Chair of Aging and Ageism Caucus. 2009-2011