Lauren Flanigan

Lauren Flanigan is a doctoral candidate in English whose work involves illness and disability studies in twentieth and twenty-first century texts. Her dissertation explores how cinematic, comic, and literary narratives help medical practitioners imagine illness from the patient’s perspective, an empathetic gesture that can greatly improve the effectiveness of healthcare. 
 
Before advising, Lauren worked for four years as a teaching assistant/instructor for Intro to Film Form and Culture (ENGL/FILM 245), and as an instructor for Global Cinema (CMLT 280) and Academic Writing (ENGL 101). She was also a labor and delivery nurse for several years before returning to academia. Hence her interest in topics that bridge the gap between the humanities and medicine. 
 
As an undergraduate, she earned a BA in French and Communications at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. During this time, she studied abroad for a year in Lille, France and taught English to middle school students at College Jean DeMailly. In addition, Lauren holds a BS in nursing from George Mason University and a BA in English from the University of Maryland. 
 
Texts that affect me profoundly: Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, Anne Patchett’s Truth & Beauty, Carl Sagan’s Contact, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose.  
 
#1 Piece of advice for students: Most academic failures can be overcome by honestly evaluating your own knowledge gaps or unpreparedness in a given situation. Learning from these mistakes and working to remedy them can lead you to success the next time around. 
 
What I wish I knew as an undergrad: You don’t have to have your major figured out by the time you arrive at college. Take general education courses to help you discover your intellectual passion, which you can then cultivate into a career with the help of your advisors.
 
Ask me about: Course selections and requirements for the English major, careers for English degree holders, disability studies, film and travel abroad.