Lindsey Grubbs, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Bioethics
School of Medicine

Lindsey Grubbs, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She holds a PhD in English and a certificate in bioethics from Emory University. Following her graduate work, she served as a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, where she was also affiliated with the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine. Before joining CWRU, she held a faculty position in the Department of Public Health at California State University, East Bay, where she taught courses in health humanities and bioethics.

As a literary scholar with training in bioethics, she carries out research in both the cultural history and the contemporary ethics of psychiatry and neuroscience. Across disciplines, she examines the role of narrative in the diagnosis, treatment, and social acceptance of controversial and poorly understood illnesses and disabilities. These illnesses—whether psychological, neurological, autoimmune, or mysterious—pose challenges for physicians trying to define and treat them, and for patients negotiating stigmatizing diagnoses. Her research is driven by the conviction that literary analysis provides essential tools for interpreting and clarifying the conceptual and experiential challenges at the boundaries of medical knowledge. Across disciplines, her work is shaped by and intends to contribute to the critical health humanities, a field that extends medical humanities by foregrounding the insights of disability studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, and other critical fields.

Her scholarship has been funded by institutions including the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Philadelphia, and has been published in Literature & Medicine, The Journal of Medical Humanities, The American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, the Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics, the Cambridge Companion to United States Literature, and the Body, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and other venues. She is particularly interested in first-person writing by people with psychiatric disabilities, and recently edited Under That Calamity, a new edition of John Perceval’s 1838 asylum memoir, A Narrative of the Treatment Experienced by a Gentleman, During a State of Mental Derangement, which was published by Lanternfish Press in partnership with the Library Company of Philadelphia.


Emory University
English, with certificate in Bioethics
Master of Arts
University of Wyoming
English with a minor in gender studies
Bachelor of Arts
University of Wyoming
English with minors in Russian and creative writing