Janelle Taylor

Janelle Taylor

Janelle Taylor, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 1999)
Professor, St. George Campus

Office: AP 340

Research Keywords: medical anthropology; ethnography; biomedicine; care; dementia; aging; medical education; narrative; mixed-methods health research

Research Region: U.S., North America

Research Bio

Janelle S. Taylor  was on faculty at the University of Washington for 20 years before joining the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto in summer 2019. As a medical anthropologist she uses concepts and methods from sociocultural anthropology to study social and cultural aspects of health, illness, and medicine. Her research has been based in North America and has focused on a number of different aspects of medicine including: fetal ultrasound imaging, advance care planning and medical decision-making at the end of life, conceptualizations of “culture” within medical education, the use of “Standardized Patient” simulations to teach clinical skills to medical students, and more. Recently, much of her research has attended to questions relating to dementia, including: practices of recognition and caring; exclusion of people with dementia from geriatrics research; and friendship in the face of dementia. She has worked with physician colleagues on mixed-methods health research concerning advance care planning and medical decisionmaking, and recently held (as PI) a grant from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA) to support research using existing medical research and health records data to shed light on the situation of older adults with dementia who do not have family available to provide caregiving support. Taylor is the author of a prizewinning scholarly book, co-editor of a scholarly volume, and author or co-author of numerous articles appearing in journals of medicine and medical education as well as medical anthropology and cultural anthropology. A thread running through all of her research is a concern to document and understand how ideas, words and images have material force in the world; how “persons” are socially made (and unmade); and how medicine and health care are involved in all of this.


Selected Publications

2020. “Friendship, Citizenship, and Abandonment: Older Adults with Dementia without Family Caregivers.” In The Evening of Life: Responding to the Challenges of Living and Dying Well, ed. Joseph E. Davis and Paul Scherz. University of Notre Dame Press.

2019. O’Hare, Ann M. Manjula Kurella Tamura, Danielle Lavallee, Elizabeth K. Vig,  Janelle S. Taylor, Yoshio Hall, Ronit Katz, J. Randall Curtis, Ruth Engelberg. “Prognostic Expectations of People on Dialysis.” JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online first, July 8. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2879

2019. “Word Shell,” contribution to the series “Thinking With Dementia,” ed. Jeannette Pols, Kristine Krause, Annelieke Driessen, and Emily Yates-Doerr. http://somatosphere.net/2019/03/word-shell.html

2018.  O’Hare, Ann M., Claire Richards, Jackie Szarka, Lynne V. McFarland, Whitney Showalter, Elizabeth K. Vig, Rebecca Sudore, Susan Crowley, Ranak Trivedi, Janelle S. Taylor. “‘Emotional Impact of Illness and Care on Patients with Advanced Kidney Disease.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 13 (7) 1022-1029. https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/13/7/1022

2018. Taylor, Janelle S. “What the Word ‘Partnership’ Conjoins, and What It Does.” Medicine Anthropology Theory 5(2):1-6. Special issue on “Humanistic Perspectives on Global Health Partnerships,” ed. Johanna Crane, Nora Kenworthy, and Lynn Thomas. http://medanthrotheory.org/read/10634/what-partnership-conjoins-and-does

2017. Taylor, Janelle S. “Engaging with Dementia: Moral Experiments in Art and Friendship.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 41(2):284-303. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11013-017-9528-9.pdf

2017. O’Hare, Ann M., Jackie Szarka, Lynne V. McFarland, Elizabeth K. Vig, Rebecca L. Sudore, Susan Crowley, Lynn F. Reinke, Ranak Trivedi, and Janelle S. Taylor. “‘Maybe They Don’t Even Know That I Exist’: Challenges Faced by Family Members and Friends of Patients with Advanced Kidney Disease.” Clinical Journal of the American Society for Nephrology 12: 930938. https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/clinjasn/12/6/930.full.pdf

2017.  Taylor, Janelle S. “Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot? Friendship in the Face of Dementia,” in Sarah Lamb, ed., Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, pp. 126-138.

2017. Taylor, Janelle S. “How Being Friends with Someone with Dementia Can Be Good for You Both,” The Conversation, July 6. https://theconversation.com/how-being-friends-with-someone-who-has-dementia-can-be-good-for-you-both-76750 (republished in numerous venues, including Scientific American and The Observer).

2016. O’Hare, Ann M., Jackie Szarka, Lynne V. McFarland, Janelle S. Taylor, Elizabeth K. Vig, Whitney Showalter, Ranak B. Trivedi, Rebecca Sudore, and Lynn F. Reinke. “Provider Perspectives on Advance Care Planning for Patients with Kidney Disease: Whose Job is it Anyway?” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 11(5):855-866. https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/11/5/855

2016. Wong, Susan P.Y., Elizabeth K. Vig, Janelle S. Taylor, Nilka R. Burrows, Chuan-Fen Liu, Desmond E. Williams, Paul L. Hebert, and Ann M. O’Hare. “Timing of Initiation of Maintenance Dialysis: A Qualitative Analysis of the Electronic Medical Records of Patients from the Department of Veterans Affairs.” JAMA Internal Medicine 176(2):228-235. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2484296

2015. Martimianakis, Maria Athina (Tina), Barret Michalec, Justin Lam, Carrie Cartmill, Janelle S. Taylor, Frederic W. Hafferty. “Humanism, the Hidden Curriculum, and Educational Reform: A Scoping Review and Thematic Analysis.” Academic Medicine 90(11):S5-S13, “Research in Medical Education” (RIME). https://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2015/11001/Humanism,_the_Hidden_Curriculum,_and_Educational.5.aspx

2014. Taylor, Janelle S., Claire Wendland. “The Hidden Curriculum in Medicine’s ‘Culture of No Culture’,” In The Hidden Curriculum in Health Professional Education, ed. Frederic W. Hafferty and Joseph O’Donnell. Dartmouth College Press.

2014. Taylor, Janelle S. “The Demise of the Bumbler and the Crock: From Experience to Accountability in Medical Education and Ethnography.” American Anthropologist 116(3):523-534.

2012. Taylor, Janelle S., Shaune M. DeMers, Elizabeth K. Vig and Soo Borson. “The Disappearing Subject: Exclusion of People with Cognitive Impairment and Dementia from Geriatrics Research,” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 60:413-419.

2011.  Taylor, Janelle S. “Beyond Words: Traces of Meaning in an Abandoned Kitchen.” Anthropology Now 3(2):62-64.

2011. Taylor, Janelle S.  “The Moral Aesthetics of Simulated Suffering in Standardized Patient Performances.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 35(2): 134-162.  Special Issue, “Ethnographies of Clinical Training,” ed. Seth M. Holmes, Scott Stonington and Angela Jenks.

2010. Taylor, Janelle S. “On Recognition, Caring, and Dementia.” In Care In Practice: On Tinkering in Clinics, Homes, and Farms, ed. Annemarie Mol, Jeanette Pols and Ingunn Moser. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag.      (Reprinted from Medical Anthropology Quarterly 2008.)

2009. Taylor, Janelle S. “The Body Present / Absent” Light Works Gallery Contact Sheet 150, Ellen Garvens Prosthesis Exhibition Catalog.

2009. Taylor, Janelle S. “The Culture of Medicine,” Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) Commissioned Report for Environmental Project Scan, The Future of Medical Education in Canada.

2008.  The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram: Technology, Consumption, and the Politics of Reproduction (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press)

2006.   Vig, Elizabeth K., Janelle S. Taylor, Helene S. Starks, Elizabeth M. Hopley, Kelly Fryer-Edwards. “Beyond Substituted Judgment: How Surrogates Navigate End-of-Life Decision-making.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 54(11):1688-1693 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00911.x

2005.  Taylor, Janelle S. “Surfacing the Body Interior,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 34:741-756. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.144004

2004.  Taylor, Janelle S., Linda L. Layne, and Danielle F. Wozniak, ed. Consuming Motherhood (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press)

200. Taylor, Janelle S. “The Story Catches You and You Fall Down: Tragedy, Ethnography, and ‘Cultural Competence’,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 17(2):159-181.

2003.  Taylor, Janelle S. “Confronting ‘Culture’ in Medicine’s ‘Culture of No Culture’,” Academic Medicine, 78(3):555-559.

2000Taylor, Janelle S. “Of Sonograms and Baby Prams: Prenatal Diagnosis, Pregnancy, and Consumption,” Feminist Studies, 26(2):391-418.

1998.   Taylor, Janelle S. “Image of Contradiction: Obstetrical Ultrasound in American Culture,” in Reproducing Reproduction: Kinship, Power, and Technological Innovation, ed. Sarah Franklin, Helena Ragone. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 15-45.

1992.  Taylor, Janelle S. “The Public Fetus and the Family Car: From Abortion Politics to a Volvo Advertisement,” Public Culture 4(2):167-183     (Reprinted 1993 in Science As Culture 3(4):601-618. Special issue, “Procreation Stories,” ed. Sarah Franklin and Maureen McNeil.  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09505439309526367)