January 20, 2019

Sushma Subramanian Featured in Storytelling Podcast

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of English specializing in journalism, recently appeared on a Story Collider podcast episode titled “Sense of Touch” telling a story about her experiments using haptic technology to communicate with her long-distance fiance. She performed the piece, which is adapted from a forthcoming book she is writing, at Busboys & Poets last spring. Story Collider is a nonprofit organization that promotes storytelling as a way of humanizing science.

You can listen to her story here: https://www.storycollider.org/stories/2018/8/24/sense-of-touch-stories-about-the-power-of-touch.

Subrmananian Chosen as Livingston Awards Finalist

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of English with a focus on journalism, is a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists​. The award honors the best reporting and storytelling by journalists under 35 and is popularly known as the Pulitzer for the Young. The work for which she is being recognized is a cover story for Slate on a cruel medical experiment done in Guatemala in the 1940s and the subjects and their families who are still affected.

Read the piece here:


The award winners will be chosen in June.

A complete list of finalists can be found here: https://wallacehouse.umich.edu/2018-livingston-award-finalists-announced/

Subramanian Awarded Journalism Fellowship

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of English specializing in journalism, was recently awarded a Genetics and Human Behavior Journalism Fellowship. For the GHA Fellowship, Subramanian will observe researchers studying the physiology of the Bajau laut, a group in Indonesia known for their unique ability to see underwater and hold their breath for long periods while diving, to understand whether humans may have special adaptations for swimming.

Subramanian’s is one of five fellowships awarded by the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia and aimed at early- and mid-career journalists. The fellowship supports ambitious, long-form stories on the broad theme of genetics and behavior. The fellowship was established by Eric Turkheimer, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia, and Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch and Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Subramanian Publishes Story in Discover Magazine

Sushma Subramanian, journalist and assistant professor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, has published the story “My Forgotten Language” in the November issue of Discover Magazine. Her reported personal essay looks into the science behind how she lost the ability to speak her first language, Tamil, after moving to the United States as a child and being encouraged to only use English by teachers. She speaks to neuroscience researchers about how language is stored in the brain, why she retains the ability to understand but not speak in Tamil and what it might take to bring back the full range of her language abilities.


Worse Than Tuskegee (Slate)

Subramanian Publishes in Slate

Sushma Subramanian’s story “Worse Than Tuskegee” has recently been published as a cover story in Slate. The story is about a study that remained hidden until fairly recently, involving American researchers in the 1940s infecting unknowing Guatemalans with syphilis to test prophylactic measures. Unfortunately, many of the subjects were not treated, and they’ve passed on the disease and its many devastating symptoms to their children and grandchildren, and cannot afford treatment.

Sushma Subramanian is a journalist and an assistant professor in the Department of English, Linguistics and Communication.


Subramanian Publishes Story in Men’s Health Magazine

Sushma Subramanian, Assistant Professor of English and the primary journalist in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, has published a story, “Unlock the Gut-Shrinking Secrets of Gastrophysics: How one meal can change everything you think you know about eating—and overeating,” in the March issue of Men’s Health, on stands now. The story profiles a pop-up restaurant in London called Kitchen Theory, which has built its menu around the scientific discoveries of a University of Oxford researcher named Charles Spence who studies how the senses interact while eating.

Subramanian’s Essay Published in Discover Magazine

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of English specializing in journalism, has had her essay “The Secret of Cashmere’s Luxurious Appeal” published in the July/August issue of Discover Magazine, currently out on newsstands. The essay explores the mysterious nature of tactile pleasure and how to measure it, a challenge for marketers of products ranging from bedsheets to toilet paper.

Deborah Jian Lee Discusses Book, “Rescuing Jesus”

Deborah Jian Lee will hold a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on April 11 in Combs 139 about her new book, “Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism.”

After years as a follower of evangelicalism, she left the church because she was frustrated by its conservative politics. But over the years, she came to realize that evangelical culture and politics is changing, and changing fast. Her book explores how generational changes and the shifting racial make-up of evangelicals are transforming the movement and pushing it in a more progressive direction. A young and diverse array of people on this leading edge of progressive evangelicalism—LGBTQ and straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic and indigenous—are working to wrest political power away from conservatives.

Subramanian Publishes Article in Women’s Heath

Sushma Subramanian, journalist and assistant professor of English, recently published “A Shock to the Senses” in the October issue of Women’s Health. The article explores how we can can protect our senses in light of constant media overstimulation.