My current research can be divided into two primary research clusters (described below). For a comprehensive list of my scholarship (past and present), please see my CV.
Pain Science and Medicine Cluster: Pain management is a contentious area in both medical science and policy. Clinicians who treat pain must routinely grapple with challenging philosophical issues that go to the core of Western science while working in a highly regulated and politically divisive environment. Since 2006, through a combination of ethnographic research and rhetorical analysis, I have investigated interdisciplinary pain management organizations as they attempt to establish a new, more ethical, approach to clinical care—one that rejects the traditional reductivism of Western biomedicine and treats the patient as an integrated whole. Theoretically, these projects have been part of my ongoing efforts to coordinate rhetorical studies with science and technology studies and critical/cultural studies. In particular, I have explored the relationships between rhetorical agency and actor-network theory, discursive transformation and stasis theory, and incommensurability and multiple ontologies. Occasional Collaborator: Carl Herndl (University of South Florida).
Graham, S.S. (2012). An Ontological History of Pain Medicine. Rhetoric Society of America. Philadelphia, PA. (Saturday, May 26th at 9:30).
Pain Science & Public Policy: Agency, Ontologies and the Medical-Industrial Complex. (book manuscript).
Graham, S.S. & Herndl, C.G. (forthcoming). Multiple ontologies in pain management:
Towards a postplural rhetoric of science. Technical Communication Quarterly.
Graham, S.S. (2011). Dis-ease or disease? Ontological rarefaction in the medical-industrial complex. Journal of Medical Humanities, 32(3), 167-187. DOI 10.1007/s10912-011-9137-5
Graham, S.S. & Herndl, C.G. (2011). Talking off-label: A nonmodern science of pain in the medical-industrial complex. Rhetoric Society Quarterly,42(2), 145-167.
Graham, S.S. (2009). Agency and the rhetoric of medicine: Biomedical brain scans and the ontology of fibromyalgia. Technical Communication Quarterly, 18(4), 376-404.
Pharmaceuticals Policy and the Public Cluster: Academics, public advocacy groups, and concerned citizens alike have argued for increased democratization in science and medical policy decision-making, which often takes the form of calls for greater public engagement with science and medicine. In response, some governmental organizations have begun experimenting with including marginalized voices in public policy decisions. Rhetoricians and scholars of science, technology, and medicine have since embarked on long-range projects that document, analyze, and assess these efforts. I am working on several coordinated projects which extend this research by interrogating the FDA’s inclusion of patient representatives in pharmaceuticals policy hearings. Recognizing calls for increased public participation, the FDA now includes a patient representatives as a matter of course. Similarly, the regular inclusion of patient voices in drug policy hearings is a strong indicator of the FDA’s commitment to key stakeholder participation in policy decision-making. However, there are few studies available to document the extent to which patient representatives actually impact the policy decision-making process. Specific Projects: Avastin Appeal Hearing (Collaborators: Christa Teston, University of Idaho; Jessamyn Swift, Raquel Baldwinson, Andria Li, University of British Columbia); Center for Drug Evaluation Research Drug Advisory Committees (Collaborator: Jenell Johnson, University of Wisconsin—Madison); Institute of Medicine Report on conflict of interest.
Graham, S.S. & Teston, C. (2012). Public Participation and Federal Pharmaceuticals Policy: The Invalidation of Breast Cancer Survivor Testimony in the FDA Avastin Hearings, 2011. Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology. Philadelphia, PA. (Friday, May 25 at 8:30)
Teston, C.B., Graham, S.S., Baldwinson, R., Swift, J. & Li, A. (Under Review). Definitional Multiplicity: Negotiating “Clinical Benefit” in the FDA’s Avastin Hearings. Journal of Medical Humanities.
Teston, C.B. & Graham, S.S. (Under Review). Negotiating Stasis and Achieving Meaningful Public Participation in Pharmaceutical Policy-Making. Present Tense.
Graham, S.S., Teston, Li, A., C.B., Baldwinson, R. & Swift, J. (Article Manuscript). Health Policy and the Question of Expertise: The Case of Avastin. Rhetoric and Public Affairs.
Johnson, J. & Graham, S.S. (Under Review). The Impact of Patient Representatives on Federal Pharmaceuticals Policy. Funding Proposal for the Madison-Milwaukee Intercampus Grant.