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Kirsten Ostherr

About Me

Kirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH, is a media scholar who specializes in health and medical visualizations. She is Professor of English at Rice University and, with the support of a New Directions fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she recently completed a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health. Dr. Ostherr’s most recent book, Medical Visions: Producing the Patient Through Film, Television, and Imaging Technologies (Oxford, 2013), explores how audiovisual media – from x-rays to 16mm film to television and the Internet – have trained both physicians and patients to see and understand health and disease. Her first book, Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005) explains how visual media have shaped the field of global health by constructing images and narratives of contagion. She has published numerous additional articles on media, medicine, and public health. Dr. Ostherr’s current research is focused on accelerating the uptake of media theory in health communication platforms to enable providers and patients to optimize their use of mobile health technologies. She is Co-founder and Director of the Medical Futures Lab, a collaborative center linking Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health to train the medical media innovators of the future through creative, hands-on critical thinking and design.

Courses and Programs taught by Kirsten Ostherr