Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. (Keynote)

The Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Professor of Jewish Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.  Dr. Wolpe is also the Senior Bioethicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), the premier scholarly journal in bioethics, and Editor-in-Chief of AJOB-Neuroscience, and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals. He is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society.  Dr. Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, and ideological impact of biotechnology on the human condition.  He sits on many national and international non-profit organizational boards, and consults for academic institutions and the biomedical industry.  Dr. Wolpe won the 2011 World Technology Network Award in Ethics, has recorded a TED Talk, was named one of Trust Across America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, and was profiled in the November, 2011 Atlantic Magazine as a “Brave Thinker of 2011.”   Chosen by The Teaching Company as a “Superstar Teacher of America,” Dr. Wolpe is a frequent contributor and commentator in both the broadcast and print media, recently featured on 60 Minutes and with a personal profile in the Science Timesof the New York Times.

Barracano photo

Rob Schmidt Barracano

Digital Media Production Lecturer in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Emory University. His film credits include Wrong Turn and Crime and Punishment in Suburbia. He also directed a Masters of Horror episode called “Right to Die.” Rob’s thriller The Alphabet Killer has been picked up for international distribution by New Films International. He holds an MFA in Film Direction from the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Browning headshot_John Edgar Browning is an American author and editor recognized internationally[2] for his nonfiction works about the horror genre and vampires in both movies and literature. He is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Browning is considered an “expert on vampires specializing in the Dracula figure in film, literature, television, and popular culture.”[3] His works expound upon Dracula, horror, vampires, the supernatural, the un-dead,Bram Stoker, and gothic and cultural theory. As a vampire scholar, Browning has appeared in two documentary television series: The National Geographic Channel’s Taboo USA,[4] formerly Taboo (TV series), andDiscovery Channel’s William Shatner’s Weird or What?[5][6]

For his book Dracula in Visual Media, Browning documented over 700 “domestic and international Dracula films, television programs, documentaries, adult features, animations, and video games . . . [as well as] nearly 1000 domestic and international comic book titles and stage adaptations.”[7] For the book, Browning won the Lord Ruthven Award, an award for deserving work in vampire fiction or scholarship.[8] The book was also nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award (a.k.a. a “Rondo Award”) for Book of the Year in 2011.

glennBrent Glenn

Resident Lighting and Sound Designer for Theater Emory. He is a graduate of Brenau College and the MFA program at Louisiana State University. Mr. Glenn has served previously as Resident Lighting & Sound Designer at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and at Converse College, where he was honored to receive the Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award as well as the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Excellence in Teaching Award. Mr. Glenn is an original ensemble member of the Echota Performing Arts Festival as well as co-founder of the performance groups 2brents Mad Histrionics and Autumn Ghost Enterprises. As a writer, Mr. Glenn has co-authored a book of poetry (The Dracula Poems), as well as having been published in Catharsis Magazine, The Underground Guide to Spartanburg, and the International Conference for Education, Research, and Innovation in Madrid, Spain. Recently produced original plays include One Hour with 3Lepers!?, The Anointing of Dracula: A Grand Guignol, and The Autumn Ghost Radio Hour Presents: “Oh, Horrors!.” Mr. Glenn is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Neeley photo

Neeley Gossett

Holds an M.F.A. from The Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University and was named a finalist in the Kendeda National Graduate Playwright Competition. Her works have previously received productions and readings at The Alliance Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Onstage Atlanta, The Coastal Empire New Play Festival, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, Mill Mountain Theater, Riverside Theatre, Studio Roanoke, The Ethel Woolson Lab, One Minute Play Festival Atlanta, Big Dawg Theater, Hollins University and The University of West Georgia. Her plays, As U Like It and Carolina Dive, are published by YouthPLAYS, and Carolina Dive was recently produced in Australia. Neeley has an M.A. in English from The University of North Carolina Wilmington and a B.A. in Theater Arts from Marymount Manhattan College. She works as a Teaching Artist at The Alliance Theater and is the dramaturg in resident for The Ethel Woolson Lab. She is a tenure track, English Instructor at Georgia Perimeter College. She is thrilled to be a co-founder of Found Stages, where her immersive play, Beulah Creekpremiered. Found Stages is honored to have been chosen to be a part of the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab at The Alliance Theatre and 7 Stages’ Curious Encounters this year. Neeley has co-written both of these projects

Matthew Head shot

Matthew Kear

Matthew is an historian and preservation planner at the Georgia Department of Transportation. He earned a master’s in preservation planning from Cornell University in 2009, and has since worked for the National Park Service and GDOT. He specializes in historic cemeteries and is currently overseeing a statewide study on cemeteries in Georgia.

Joe_Laycock_01HR_DanAddisonJoseph P. Laycock, Ph.D.

Assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University.  He teaches courses on world religions, religion in America, new religious movements, and the intersection of religion and popular culture.

He is the author of several books including Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic Over Role-Playing Games Says About Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds and The Seer of Bayside: Veronica Lueken and the Struggle to Define Catholicism.  He is also a blogger for Religion Dispatches.

quest_tammieTammie E. Quest, MD

The Director of the Emory Palliative Care Center for Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the Emory University School of Medicine and board certified in Emergency Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

SarrettHeadShotJennifer Sarrett Ph.D.

Lecturer at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Human Health, where she teaches courses in Health Humanities, Bioethics and Disability, and Mental Illness and Culture. Her work focuses on intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as they relate to culture, disability rights, and ethics. She began working in the field of autism and developmental 15 years ago as a special education instructor and consultant in the U.S. and abroad. With the objective of studying the role of culture in the identification, understanding, and treatment of autistic children, she obtained her PhD from Emory’s Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), a unique interdisciplinary program. Her dissertation compared parental and professional experiences of autism in Atlanta, GA and Kerala, India. Along the way she became interested in neuroethical issues related to I/DD, including international research ethics, human rights and I/DD, and the implications of emerging technologies for early identification and diagnosis. Her work is strongly influenced by the disability studies concept of neurodiversity, a scholarly and advocacy position that works to encourage acceptance of neurological differences, including autism, rather than seeking cures and strategies to normalize autistic behavior. Dr. Sarrett has published a range of articles, including the development of a more inclusive model of human rights centered on a consideration of autistic difference; the ways images of autism depict and promote damaging tropes about autism; cultural influences on the ways parents explain their child’s autism (Spring, 2015); and ethical issues related to international research on I/DD