Martha Stoddard Holmes

Profile photo of Martha Stoddard Holmes  

My active research for the past several years has been in cultural studies of the body (body studies) with a particular emphasis on representations of disability and illness, particularly as they are inflected by (and inflect) gender and sexuality (think: the marriage plot, homosocial relationships, ideas of inter/dependency). My interests have led me to stitch together various disciplinary locations (literature…medicine…history) to investigate moments in which disability or illness is enacted or performed. As a scholar and teacher, I often want to suture the past and present.

Since the 1990s I’ve brought my background and training as a creative writer into this crazy quilt of practice and pushed my writing from traditional literary scholarship to creative non-fiction—and most recently into the conversation between verbal and visual expression. After teaching graphic narratives of illness (and, I think, coining the phrase “graphic body studies”), I spent a spring sabbatical taking my first-ever college studio arts class in service of creating a graphic narrative of ovarian cancer.