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Sharmain van Blommestein
Dr. Sharmain van Blommestein is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English and Communication; and the Director of Women's and Gender Studies at SUNY Potsdam. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and specializes in Medieval/Early modern literature, feminist theory, and women's and gender studies topics via British and American literary studies. Her research formulates a cultural and political context for the relationship/parallel between Medieval/Early Modern and contemporary issues on ideologies of the gendered body; the semiotic body; and the body/skin as book. She examines the cultural significations of, and the semiotic prescriptions deployed in, "writing" on, and reading of, the body/skin as an act of agency. These research interests also connect to topics pertaining to medieval medicine and the social approach to health and healing; the female body and prostitution; menstruation and reproduction; women and religious women; and disease from ancient to modern. Her present research involves partly writing/editing two encyclopedias: Women's Reproductive Lives: An Encyclopedia of Health, History, and Popular Culture; and Gynecology and Reproduction in Medieval/Renaissance Culture.