spearlAssociate Professor of Medical Ethics and History

Sharrona Pearl is Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and History in the Department of Heath Administration and the History Department at Drexel University, and affiliated faculty in the Center for Science, Technology & Society.  A historian and theory of the body and face, Pearl researches the relationship between the face and how we perceived people.  She has explored the face in a number of articles and four monographs:  About Faces: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Harvard University Press, 2010); Face/On: Face Transplants and the Ethics of the Other (University of Chicago Press, 2017); Do I Know You? From Face Blindness to Super Recognition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023); and Mask (Bloomsbury Academic, 2024). She is also the editor of Images, Ethics, Technology (Routledge, 2016) in the Shaping Inquiry in Culture, Communication and Media Studies series and a special issue of Notes and Records, the history of science journal of the Royal Society. She has two current research projects: one on the limits of empathy as a framework for human rights, and one on the pathological Jewish breast.  A deeply interdisciplinary scholar, Pearl’s work incorporates the history of science, medicine, and technology; health humanities; bioethics and AI ethics; critical race, gender, and disability studies; and media studies.  Dr. Pearl is the co-editor, with Colleen Derkatch, of the Health Humanities series for Johns Hopkins University Press.  She also maintains an active freelance practice and regularly publishes in magazines and newspapers.

Dr. Pearl previously was an Assistant Professor at The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature and in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, and received the Swann Foundation Fellowship for Caricature and Cartoon at the Library of Congress.