RHM, Interdisciplinarity, and an International Public Health Conference A Dialogue among Stakeholders

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Candice A. Welhausen


Building connections with professionals in subject matter disciplines—practitioners and/or academics—is a growing area of interest for many scholars working in the rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM). However, strategies for creating and building meaningful, productive interdisciplinary relationships has not been a central theme in RHM-focused scholarship. This entry endeavors to address this gap by using RHM’s emerging version of the “dialogue” genre to describe the author’s experience co-chairing the communications track for an international public health conference. The author weaves in commentary from contributors who participated in the conference and discusses and reflects upon two key challenges that emerged: 1) differences in language choice/terminology, and 2) epistemic conflict. Through this reflective discussion, this dialogue proposes several strategies that RHM scholars might draw from in building their own interdisciplinary relationships moving forward: 1) negotiate shared meanings and goals, 2) find commonalities, and 3) normalize rhetorical inquiry. 

Featured Contributors: Nicholas Bustamante, MFA; Alina Deshpande, PhD; Amy Ising, MS; Jamie Newman, PhD; Kirk St.Amant, PhD

Article Details

Author Biography

Candice A. Welhausen, Auburn University

Candice A. Welhausen is an assistant professor of English at Auburn University where she specializes in technical and professional communication. Her research focuses on the ways that data visualizations of public health threats construct knowledge about disease, illness, and health.


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