Faculty | Jeff Bennett
JEFF BENNETT is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies. His research tends to focus on two primary areas of study: the rhetoric of health and medicine and LGBTQ studies. His most recent research project focused on the rhetoric of diabetes management. In his book, Managing Diabetes: The Cultural Politics of Disease, he argues that popular anecdotes, media representations, and communal myths are as meaningful as medical and scientific understandings of disease when contemplating diabetes’ public character. Bennett examines the confusing and contradictory public depictions of diabetes to demonstrate how “management” is not only clinical, but also cultural. Bennett has lived with type-one diabetes since 2004 and speaks from personal experience about the many ways diabetes is enlivened in the popular imaginary.
He is also the author of Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and Resistance, which scrutinizes the federal donor deferral policy that prevents men who have sex with men from donating blood.
He is currently working on a number of research publications. The topics of those essays include a sit-in by disability activists at the Tennessee State Capitol, the memory politics of the so-called Culture Wars, and a series of papers about COVID-19.
You can learn more about his research at https://my.vanderbilt.edu/jeffreybennett/
B.A., Speech Communication, Wayne State University
M.A., Communication Studies, Northern Illinois University
Ph.D., Communication and Culture, Indiana University
Jeffrey A. Bennett, “Diving into the Past: Greg Louganis, Queer Memory, and the Cultural Politics of HIV Management,” Sport, Rhetoric, and Political Struggle, eds. Michael Butterworth and Daniel Grano (New York: Peter Lang, 2019): 71-84.
“Chronic Citizenship: Community, Choice, and the Queer Controversy” in Biocitizenship: Lively Subjects, Embodied Sociality, and Posthuman Politics, eds. Kelly Happe, Jenell Johnson, and Marina Levina (New York: New York University Press, 2018): 95-116.
Jeffrey A. Bennett, “Containing Sotomayor: Rhetorics of Personal Restraint, Judicial Prudence, and Diabetes Management,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 104 (2018): 257-278.