Mary K. Bryson

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Mary K. Bryson
Professor, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
Director, Network of Centers and Institutes in Education
Director, Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education

Dr. Mary K. Bryson is Professor, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia and Director, Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education and Director, Network of Centers and Institutes in Education. Bryson's program of research in critical cultural studies of gender and sexuality is designed so as to advance knowledge concerning the networked technologies that constitute health informatics and their role in the mobilization of knowledge, citizenship and the production of accessible publics. Bryson has numerous publications on theoretical treatments of gender/sexuality and pervasively networked media, queer theory, and the politics of democratization and difference/s, including Radical In(Ter)Ventions (SUNY Press). In 2000, Bryson was a recipient of the CanadianPioneer in New Technologies and Media award.

For her 2010-11 fellowship, Bryson worked on phase one of a longer term project titled, "Queer Futures and the Circuit of Culture: The Precarious Mobilities of Women's Breast and Reproductive Cancer Knowledge." Contemporary health discourses - what we might call, "DIY Health" - signal a spectacularly contradictory set of recombinant and contradictory logics that include (and are not limited to) both the logics of (a) neoliberal biomedicalization -- "choice, access to knowledge and individual autonomy", and (b) health activist community-based mobilization. The advent of widespread access to broadband Internet has recalibrated the scope, participatory architecture, and distribution networks of consumer health knowledge. Rather than focusing on health or disease per se, this interdisciplinary research is designed to advance knowledge concerning how breast and reproductive cancer knowledge is organized, distributed, and authorized, and seeks to establish how people in diverse locations manage to access, contribute to, and unsettle breast and reproductive cancer knowledge, whether online or by other means. A diverse group of researchers of cultural diversity, communications media and consumer health informatics, public health policymakers, as well as health care professionals would benefit, we hold, from a better understanding of how groups that are historically marginalized in health care settings and discourses, access and engage health knowledge.

At Stanford, Sarah Lochlann Jain, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and John Willinsky, Khosla Family Professor of Education, are collaborators with Bryson on this research.

Further information about Professor Bryson is available from her website.