Cristina Hanganu-Bresch, PhD

Cristina Hanganu-Bresch PhD

Assistant Director, Writing Programs

Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition


PhD, Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication, University of Minnesota

MA, Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University

MA, British Cultural Studies, University of Bucharest

Research Interests

  • Eating right, eating wrong: orthorexia as a cultural syndrome
  • Veganism, vegetarianism, and animal studies
  • Visual rhetoric of pscyhopharmaceutical advertising
  • The intersection of psychiatry and law
  • Case studies in the history of psychiatry/ insane asylums
  • The history and practice of scientific writing



Dr. Hanganu-Bresch has been teaching first year composition courses as well as Scientific Writing and other undergraduate and graduate writing courses since 2008; she has also been teaching multidisciplinary courses in the General Education program (Medicine & Culture, Intro to Animal Studies). Her research focuses on the history and rhetoric of medicine broadly speaking and of psychiatry in particular, as well as on the practice of scientific and technical communication. Recently, she has been looking into the emergence of a new eating disorder diagnosis, orthorexia, or the obsession with eating right. Dr. Hanganu-Bresch is also interested in critical animal studies and in particular in veganism as an embodied social, political, and rhetorical practice. She is the recipient of a Bright Idea Award (2009) and of the Patricia Leahy Award for Learning Innovation award (2019), and was nominated for a Lindback Award in 2011 and 2016. She has been the recipient of an American Philosophical Society Franklin travel fellowship in 2012, and of a residential fellowship with the Brocher Foundation, Switzerland in 2018. From 2016 to 2018, she served as president of the Faculty Senate at University of the Sciences. Dr. Hanganu-Bresch has started served as an Associate Editor for CompPile 2018-2021, and has served as Blog Content Editor for Medical Humanities-BMJ since 2020. 

Selected Scholarly Activity


Hanganu-Bresch, C. & Berkenkotter, C. (2019). Diagnosing madness: The discursive construction of the psychiatric patient, 1850–1920. Columbia, SC: The University of South Carolina Press.
- Nominated for Rhetoric Society of America 2020 Book Awards
- Outstanding Academic Title Choice Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries

Hanganu-Bresch, C. & Flaherty, K. (2020). Effective scientific communication: The other half of science. Oxford University Press.

Hanganu-Bresch, C., Zerbe, M., Cutrufello, G., Maci, S. (Eds.) (2020). Routledge Handbook of Scientific Communication. Routledge (Environmental Communication Series).

Hanganu-Bresch, C. & Kondrlik, K. (Eds.) (2021). Veg(etari)an arguments in culture, history, and practice: The V word. London: Palgrave/McMillan (Animal Ethics Series).

Everett, J. & Hanganu-Bresch, C. (Eds.) (2016). A minefield of dreams: Triumphs and travails of Independent Writing Programs. WAC Clearinghouse & Colorado State University Open Press.


Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2021). The Rhetoric of Food as Medicine: Editor’s Introduction to Special Issue on the Rhetoric of Food and Health. Rhetoric of Health & Medicine 4(2): 111–125. DOI: 10.5744/rhm.2021.2001.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2019). Public perceptions of moral insanity in the 19th century. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 207(9): 805–814. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001035.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2019) Orthorexia: Eating right in the context of healthism. Medical Humanities 46: 311–322. DOI: 10.1136/medhum-2019-011681.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2018). Neitherfemme. Women and Language 40(1). Special issue: Nasty (Wo)manifestos: Remixing Feminisms for Social Change. Multimedia installation + artist statement.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. & Berkenkotter, C. (2012). Narrative survival: Personal and institutional accounts of asylum confinement. Literature and Medicine 30(1): 12–41.

Berkenkotter, C., Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2011). Occult genres and the certification of madness in a 19th century Victorian asylum. Written Communication 28(2): 220-250.


Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2020). Introduction: Legitimation Strategies in Veg(etari)an and Anti-Veg(etari)an Discourses. In Hanganu-Bresch, C. & Kondrlik, K. (Eds.) Veg(etari)an arguments in culture, history, and practice: The V word. Palgrave/McMillan.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2017). What’s in a meme? The 2016 CCCC Intellectual Property Annual: A Publication of the Intellectual Property Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, pp. 16-23. Available at

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2016). Qvo vadis, Independent Writing Programs? Writing about writing and rhetorical education. In Everett, J. & C. Hanganu-Bresch (Eds.). A minefield of dreams: Triumphs and travails of Independent Writing Programs, pp. 193-212. WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press.

Berkenkotter, C., Hanganu-Bresch, C., Dreher, K. (2015). Descriptive psychopathology in asylum case histories: The case of John Horatio Baldwin. In Gotti, M., Maci S., & Sala, M. (Eds.), Insights into medical communication, pp. 91-110. Bern: Peter Lang.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2012). Treat her with Prozac: Four decades of direct-to-physician antidepressant advertising. In MacDougall, R. C. (Ed.), Drugs & media: New perspectives on communication, consumption and consciousness, pp. 166-192. New York, NY: Continuum/Bloomsbury.

Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2011). Science writing, writing science: Adapting the writing curriculum to a science-oriented institution. In Lowe, C. & Williams, T. (Eds.) WPA 2010 Conference Proceedings. Available at

Berkenkotter, C. & Hanganu-Bresch, C. (2004). Of speaking subjects: Freud’s case histories as genre for the mind’s new science. In Text i arbete/Text at work. Institutionen för nordiska spark vid Uppsala Universitet.

Contact Information

Office location: Alumni Hall, Writing Center
Mailing address: Box # 88
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215-596-8892

c [dot] hanganu-bresch [at] usciences [dot] edu