Cohort 
2018

Cindy Weinstein, PhD

Professor & Literary Critic

We need to develop a caregiving system that treats people with dementia with kindness and respect and supports the people who love them.

Current Work

Cindy is the Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of American literature at the California Institute of Technology, and her expertise is in the nineteenth century. She has written three monographs and edited four volumes. Additionally, she teaches courses in women’s fiction, Black literature, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. She has served in several administrative positions during her academic career.

Personal Hero

Her undergraduate advisor, Michael Gilmore

Words of Strength

Writing humorously, passionately, and well

Vision

To reduce the scale and impact of dementia, we need to develop a caregiving system that treats people with dementia with kindness and respect and supports the people who love them.

Strategy

Cindy has written Finding the Right Words: A Story of Literature, Grief, and the Brain (Johns Hopkins University  Press, 2021) with Bruce Miller that both illustrates the emotional challenges of loving someone with dementia and provides caregivers with an explanation of the neurological complexities of dementia.

Impact

Cindy studied neurology and the genre of memoir in order to write a book with Bruce Miller. Writing the book was not only the primary achievement of her fellowship year, but of her life.

Motivation

One facet of dementia treatment discussed in her book with Bruce Miller is how “agitation” triggers pharmacological interventions, which often lead to further agitation in a relentless cycle. The US medical establishment needs to think more deeply about alternative approaches.

Education & Experience

Cindy Weinstein received her PhD degree at UC Berkeley. Her area of expertise is American literature, and she has taught at Caltech since 1989.

Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI)
2018
Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health
University of California, Berkeley
American Literature
1989
PhD
Brandeis University
1982
BA

Awards & Honors

I am the first female English professor at Caltech to have a named chair –– the Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of English

California Institute of Technology
2016
Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of English

Videos

Podcasts

Cover art from Thoughts from a Page Podcast episode featuring Cindy Weinstein and Bruce Miller

Thoughts from a Page

Cindy Weinstein and Dr. Bruce Miller - FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS

October 3, 2021