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Lorenzo Servitje

Associate Professor

0035 - Drown Hall

PhD, University of California, Riverside, 2017

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Lorenzo Servitje is associate professor of literature and medicine, with a dual appointment in the Department of English and the Health, Medicine, and Society program at Lehigh University which he currently directs. He holds a PhD in English from the University of California Riverside and a Master in Public Health at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. His monograph Medicine Is War: The Martial Metaphor in Victorian Literature and Culture, (SUNY University Press 2021) traces the metaphorical militarization of medicine in the nineteenth century. He is an affiliated researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s s Antimicrobials in Society cluster

Broadly, professor Servitje’s research interests include literature and medicine, history of medicine and public health, interdisciplinary research methods and collaboration, science and technology studies, media studies, and Victorian literature.

His most recent work focuses on antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in biomedical prose, popular media, and fiction. His current book project, The Science and Fiction of Antibiosis examines the history and culture of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. Excerpts of Antibiosis have appeared in Osiris, the annual journal for the History of Science Society, and in The Palgrave Handbook of Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature and ScienceHis most recent peer-reviewed article from the project examines the use of gothic literary allusion in biomedical publications related to virulence and was published in Antibiotics. Presently, he is collaborating on a series of articles on AMR literature and UTIs with Prof. Betsy Hirsch for JAMA and the Minnesota Review, and a history of Antimicrobial Stewardship for BMJ Global Health with Prof. Clare Chandler.

Servitje’s public health and epidemiological focuses on public health communication/education and infectious disease mitigation. Servitje is the PI of a mixed method study of covid mitigation measures implemented at the North American Victorian American Studies Conference in Fall of 2022. In collaboration with Prof. Thomas McAndrew from the College of Health, the epidemiological modeling derived from this project has been presented at the Modeling for Infectious Disease Society (MIDAS) conference. The modeling and outcomes data is currently under peer review.

His other public health work has taken the form of public facing writing on anti-vaccination and misinformation in SomatasphereSalon, and USA Today. Servitje organizes Public Health week at Lehigh. In collaboration with Prof. Gabrielle String(College of Engineer and College of Health)  and Prof. Lucy Knapper (Psychology), he co-organized “(Microbes) Among Us” to educate students about microbial risk assessment by sampling surfaces around campus. He currently serves on the Easton Board of Health.

Servitje’s articles have appeared in journals such as Literature and MedicineJournal of Medical Humanities, and Science Fiction Studies, among others. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Humanities and as an associate editor for Literature and Medicine. He is co-lead editor of the “Studies in Health Humanities” book series from Lehigh University Press.

Select Publications


Medicine is War: The Martial Metaphor in Victorian Literature and Culture. (SUNY 2021)


Edited Collections

The Walking Med: Zombies and the Medical Image (Penn State 2016)

Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory (Palgrave 2016)

Syphilis and Subjectivity: From the Victorians to the Present (Palgrave 2017).


Recent Peer Reviewed Articles

“The Not-So-Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Antibiotic Research: An Interdisciplinarity Opportunity.” Antibiotics 10.1 Special Issue on Antibiotic Alternatives: Virulence Factors Produced by Pathogenic Bacteria.

“Gaming the Apocalypse in the Time of Antibiotic Resistance.” Osiris. Special Issue on Science Fiction 

   and the History of Science. 34: 316 – 337

“Of Drugs and Droogs: Cultural Dynamics and Psychopharmacology in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork 

Orange.” Literature and Medicine. 26.1: 101 – 123

“‘Triumphant Health’: Joseph Conrad and Tropical Medicine.” Literature and Medicine. 34.1: 132–155


Book Chapters

“On Mediating Women in Unsane Spaces.” Co-authored with Gillian Andrews. The Routledge Handbook 

of Health and Media. Routledge, 2022

“‘The Path of Most Resistance”: Surgeon X, Graphic Estrangement, and the Politics of Antibiosis.” The 

Palgrave Handbook of Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature and Science. Neel Ahuja, 

et al (eds). Palgrave 2020

“Selling the De-Pharmaceuticalization of Insomnia: Semiotics, Drug Advertising, and the 

Social life of Belsomra.” The Routledge Companion to the Health Humanities. Paul Crawford, Brian Brown, and Andrea Charise (eds). Routledge 2020

“‘And the Individual Withers’: Tennyson and Military Masculinity.” Martial Masculinities: Experiencing 

and Imagining the Military in the Long Nineteenth Century. Anna Berry, Joanne Begatio and Michael Brown (eds). University of Manchester Press, 2019


Recent Courses Taught


“Research Methods in Health Humanities” English Graduate Seminar, Spring 2023

“Novel Pathologies in Victorian Literature and Culture,” Graduate Seminar, Fall 2021

“Victorian Literature and Medicine.” English Graduate Seminar, Fall 2018



“Are We Living in the Post-Antibiotic Apocalypse” (ENGL/HMS/CGH 090) Co-taught with Professor Gabrielle String. First year Seminar. English, cross-listed with Health, Medicine, and Society, and Community, Global and Population Health, Fall 2023

“Research Methods in Health Humanities” (HMS 395,. Fall 2023

“How Literature Made Medicine Modern” (ENGL/HMS 315). English, cross-listed with Health, Medicine, and Society, Fall 2022

“Medical and Health Humanities” (HMS 170). Health, Medicine, and Society, Spring 2020

“Working with Texts” (ENGL 100). English, Fall 2020

“Victorian Ambivalence” (Engl 372). English, Fall 2021