Plenary Speakers

MK Czerwiec, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse who uses comics to contemplate the complexities of illness and caregiving. She is the Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement. MK has been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. She co-runs, a website devoted to the intersection of comics and health. Her most recent book is Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 which was selected as JAMA‘s “Best of Graphic Medicine” for 2017.

Anand Prahlad, University of Missouri

Anand Prahlad is the author of two books of poems, Hear My Story and Other Poems, and As Good As Mango, and an award-winning memoir, The Secret Life of A Black Aspie.He has also published critical articles and books on black folklore and the proverb, including Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music and African American Proverbs in Context, and he edited the three-volume set The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore and the one-volume The Greenwood Student Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. His most recent works, which includes creative writing, songwriting, and scholarship, focus on disability, and especially the intersections between disability, race, and genderfluid identities. Prahlad is a professor in the English Department, at the University of Missouri, where he is the Director of the Creative Writing Program, and teaches courses in folklore, film, creative writing, and disability studies.

Bess Willamson

Dr. Bess Williamson writes about the intersection of design and social movements, including attention to race, gender, disability, environment, and labor concerns. Her book Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design (NYU Press, 2019) charts the way that the cause of Disability Rights changed definitions of design and access in the U.S. As Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she teaches classes on design history, theory, and politics, and directs the M.A. Program in Modern and Contemporary Art History.