Assistant Professor of Communication
Phone: (361) 570-4201
Dr. Nicole Eugene received her PhD from Ohio University in Communication Studies, her MA is from Bowling Green State University in American Cultural Studies and she studied Sociology and Art at Spelman College. She is an interdisciplinary scholar, a disability advocate, and a scholar-artist. Her dissertation, Sleeping Everywhere: Narrating How People with Narcolepsy Navigate Everyday Life, uses experimental performative writing to describe how people with narcolepsy experience specific spaces (i.e. home, work, driving, and leisure). She is the winner of numerous awards and her work has been supported by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Her research focuses on the particular ways hidden disabilities—especially neurological disabilities—are shaped by cultural dynamics. She uses cultural studies, qualitative, ethnographic, and autoethnographic methods to examine the experience of navigating a visual culture with a hidden disability. Dr. Eugene has published research on a range of conditions that includes but is not limited to: Bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, and Narcolepsy.
Her main research interests are: hidden disabilities, sleep, race, cultural studies, performance studies, critical theory, health narratives, feminism, and science and technology studies. Her first forays into research was when she began to look into the meaning of her last name “Eugene” while still in high school. She quickly discovered the American Eugenics movement and a lifelong love of researching the various ways culture shapes how people understand human diversity.
When not working, Dr. Eugene enjoys running, writing poetry, and nurturing an addiction to fiction and non-fiction audiobooks.
Selected Bibliography Eugene, N. and J. Nelson (2017). Signifying Dis(ability): Perusing Interpretations of Muhammad Ali’s Disability. Howard Journal of Communications. Eugene, N. (2017). Making (Invisible) Difference Visible: Narratives of Queerness and Mental Illness in Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home and in Ellen Forney’s Marbles. Chapter in Mental Illness: Reflections in Popular Culture, Edited by Sharon Packer. Praeger/ABC-Clio. 233-242. Eugene, N. (2016) Misfits in the Front of the Classroom: Poetic Narratives of Teaching with a Hidden Disability. Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, 15 25-46. http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol15/iss1/3/ Eugene, N. (2006). Bridges of Katrina: Three Survivors, One Interview, Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, 29, 1507-1512. DOI: 10.1353/cal.2007.0017