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Rachel Anna Blumenthal
Rachel Anna Blumenthal,  Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English


Rachel A. Blumenthal (Ph.D., Northwestern University) specializes in American literature and the history of psychology. She teaches courses on captivity narratives, ethnic and minority American literatures, women’s literature, critical theory, revolutionary literature, and medical humanities.

She has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Huntington Library, the Newberry Library, IU Kokomo, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Literature and Medicine, ESQ, Callaloo, and Arab Studies Quarterly.

Blumenthal's current book project, “Misdiagnosis: Psychology and the Female Patient in Nineteenth-Century American Literature,” uncovers a vital connection in the nineteenth century between literary form and the emerging science of psychology. Examining works by writers such as Margaret Fuller, Lydia Smith, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Packard, Walt Whitman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emily Dickinson, and Elizabeth Stoddard, she demonstrates how literary texts frame and revise popular nineteenth-century diagnoses, including mania, hysteria, neurasthenia, and anorexia. This literature, she contends, overturns the epistemological structures of western medical practice and re-defines the boundary between health and illness by reconceiving the relations between sensation, perception, and volition.

Education and Academic Positions

Assistant Professor of English July 2014 to Present
Indiana University Kokomo | Kokomo, Indiana

Visiting Assistant Professor of English 2013-14
Northwestern University | Evanston, IL

Ph.D. English Advisors: Betsy Erkkilä (director), Julia Stern, Ivy Wilson May 2013
Northwestern University | Evanston, IL

M.A. English May 2008
Northwestern University | Evanston, IL

B.A. English & History (summa cum laude, honors, Phi Beta Kappa) May 2007
Vanderbilt University | Nashville, TN


Editors of IU Kokomo's Field: A Journal of Arts & Sciences at work on the spring issue.

Photo Credit: Alisha Referda




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Last updated: 09/26/2017