Erika Wright

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Education and English

Research & Practice Areas

Nineteenth-century British literature, narrative theory, narrative medicine, medical humanities, women and literature, and popular culture.


Erika Wright holds a PhD in English from the University of Southern California. She has appointments as a Lecturer in the English Department (University Park Campus) and as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Education at KSOM and is the Associate Director of the HEAL (Humanities, Ethics, Art, and the Law) and Narrative Medicine MS Programs at USC. Dr. Wright’s book, Reading for Health: Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (2016), examines the rhetoric of disease prevention and health maintenance in works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell. She has contributed entries on health and disease to the Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction and published articles on medicine and literature, graduate education, and medical professionalism, and the history of addiction. In addition to teaching courses on the British literature survey, Science Fiction, and Women in Literature for the English Department, Erika brings her expertise in narrative theory and close reading to her Narrative Medicine Master of Science courses and to the workshops she has designed and facilitated for medical students, residents, and fellows at CHLA and KSOM.


  • Ph.D. English, USC, 8/2009
  • M.A. English/Teaching Credential, CSUN, 6/2000
  • B.A. English, UC – Los Angeles, 6/1993
    • Teaching Fellow, USC, 2010-2012
  • Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Associate Director, Narrative Medicine Master of Science, USC Keck School of Medicine, 2019-08-
    • Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Education, USC Keck School of Medicine, 2018-08-
    • Associate Director, Humanities, Ethics, Art and Law (HEAL) Program, USC Keck School of Medicine, 2018-08-
    • Lecturer, USC, 2010-08-
    • Lecturer, USC Thematic Option, 2005-2008
    • Assistant Lecturer, Writing and Critical Reasoning, University of Southern California, 08/16/2001-08/15/2002
    • Teaching Associate, Freshman Composition, California State University Northridge, 08/16/1998-08/15/2000

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Lecturer, University of Southern California, 2010 – 2012

    Other Employment

    • Invited Speaker, UCLA Medical School, 06/18/2014
    • Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, 2013-2015
    • Graduate Student Liaison, Dickens Universe, 05/14/2004-08/07/2004
    • Participant/Teacher, The Dickens Universe, 05/14/2002-08/07/2002
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Reading for Health: Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (Ohio University Press, 2016) examines the intersection between medicine and literature, demonstrating how health (as opposed to disease) has had a powerful shaping force on narrative form of the nineteenth century novel. My current book project, for which I was awarded a Mayers Fellowship at The Huntington Library, examines the role that confidentiality plays in Victorian law, medicine, and literature.

    Research Keywords

    British literature, medical humanities, women and literature, law and literature, popular culture

    Detailed Statement of Research Interests

    My current research examines the ways professional advice gets depicted, protected, and transgressed in nineteenth-century novels. Focusing on works by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, M. E. Braddon, George Eliot, and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as tracts on medical and legal ethics and etiquette, my new book project, Be Advised, considers how secrecy became so powerfully embedded in narratives of professionalism, and how professionals made ethical use of their privileged knowledge.

  • Other Presentations

    • Avoiding Evidence in Trollope, Conference, Pasadena, 2013-2014
  • Book

    • Wright, E. (2016). Reading for Health: Medical Narratives and the Nineteenth-Century Novel. Ohio University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Wright, E., Schaff, P. (2019). A Novel Approach to Narrative-Based Professionalism: Medical Education and the Literature Classroom. Engaging Hearts and Minds: The Use of Literature t Ohio: Kent State University Press.

    Journal Article

    • Novak, D. A., Hallowell, R., Llobrera, K., Schreiber, J., Wright, E., Elliott, D. Stances Toward Anti-Racist Medical Education. AERA2022 AERA
    • Sussman, S., Wright, E. (2022). Approaching Addiction: A Brief History. English Language Notes. Vol. 60 (1)
    • Wright, E. (2010). Prevention as Narrative in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Studies in the Novel. Vol. 42 (4)
    • Introduction to Narrative Medicine, English, 2017-2018
    • Huntington Library Mayers Fellow, 2013/07-2013/10
    • USC LAS Graduate Assistant Teaching Award, 2005-2006
    • Marta Feuchtwanger Fellowship, 2004-2005
    • USC English Department Travel Grant, 2004
    • Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-2004
    • USC Gender Studies Program Travel Grant, Spring 2004
    • USC LAS Graduate Merit Award, 2000-2002
    • Robert H. Schiffman Memorial Scholarship, CSUN Spring, 2000
    • Mitchell Marcus Award of Merit: Outstanding Graduate Student, CSUN Spring, 1999/01-1999/05
    • Teaching Associate Fellowship, CSUN Spring (wavier of State University fees), 1999/01-1999/05
    • Helen Lodge/Richard Lid Northridge Writing Project Award, 1997-1998
    • Award of Merit for Student Teaching: Outstanding Candidate in English, CSUN, 1996-1997
  • Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

    • Undergraduate advisement, Spring 2011
  • Reviewer for Publications

    • Rocky Mountain MLA, Provided reader’s report for an article on Harriet Martineau., 02/2017 – 04/2017
    • Papers on Language and Literature, Provided a reader’s report for an essay on Jane Austen., Spring 2012