Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Lance Wahlert

Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; Faculty Director of Master of Bioethics (MBE) program at the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM)


2011 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Heather K. Love
"The Clinical Gays and the Painful Reunion: Medical Spectatorship and Historiographical Practice in New Queer Cinema"

Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Office Hours

By appointment

Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; 423 Guardian Drive, 14th Floor

Lance Wahlert is Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy; and Director of the Master of Bioethics (MBE) program in the Perelman School of Medicine.

Author/editor of over 30 peer-review articles on bioethics and medical humainties, Professor Wahlert is also Residential Faculty Fellow at Greogry College House in Penn's College House system, where he serves as Faculty Diretor of the House's Film Culture Program.

After receiving his B.A. in English and History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, Professor Wahlert earned an M.A. in Irish poetics from Johns Hopkins, an M.Sc. in History of Science from Imperial College London, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr Wahlert’s scholarly interests include narrative medicine, clinical ethics, the history of LGBTQ medicine, disability theory, cinema studies, and Irish & Norwegian literatures.

Accordingly, he has held residential fellowships at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine (London), Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Oslo, King's College London, the British Film Institute, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.  Since 2010, Professor Wahlert has served visiting professorships in clinical ethics & mecical humanities at: the Cleveland Clinic; the University of Turku (Finland); the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland); Princeton University; Dartmouth College; Dickinson College; and UT Southwest (Dallas) .

Professor Wahlert's scholarship on queer ethics and medical humanities has been funded by numerous influential medical/policy institutions: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Pew Foundation, the World Health Organizatin (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Accordingly, Professor Wahlert’s scholarship has been featured in academic publications such as Bioethics, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Humanities, the journal Medicine and Literature, the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, and The Hastings Center Report.

Professor Wahlert has also served as guest editor of five special issues of academic journals dedicated to the intersections of bioethics, narrative, queer theory, disability studies, and the history of medicine:

1. “Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity” for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2012);

2. “Queer in the Clinic” for the Journal of Medical Humanities (2013);

3. “Mapping Queer Bioethics: Space, Place, and Locality” for the Journal of Homosexuality (2016);

4. "Choosing Disability: Bioethics and Disability" for the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (2018).

5. "Pediatric Ethics under COVID-19" for the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics (forthcoming 2021).  


Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Travis Chi Wing Lau "Prophylactic Fictions: Immunity and Biosecurity "

Courses Taught

fall 2021

fall 2018

ENGL 107.001 Literature and Medicine: 1650-Present canceled  

spring 2018

fall 2017

ENGL 107.001 Literature and Medicine canceled  

fall 2016

ENGL 107.001 Literature and Medicine canceled  

fall 2015

spring 2015

fall 2014

summer 2010

ENGL 105.900 Medicine and Literature, 1650-2000 canceled  

fall 2009

summer 2009

spring 2009

fall 2008

summer 2008

spring 2008

fall 2007

summer 2007

ENGL 247.920 Sensational Literary London