Dr. Phyllisa Deroze is a health humanities scholar, global diabetes patient advocate, creative writer, and chronic illness lifestyle blogger. She has a passion for language, storytelling, and using multiple modes of delivery. Dr. Deroze started blogging at diagnosedNOTdefeated.com in 2011 and the following year, founded Black Diabetic Info™ (a website that situates diabetes information within the cultural beliefs and practices of the African diaspora). Her publications include a poetry collection, academic essays, book chapters, articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos.
As a child growing up in unincorporated Pompano Beach, Florida, her biggest dream was to be the first person in her family to graduate from college. She exceeded that goal by earning a BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University, a MA in Africana Studies from the University at Albany, and a MA and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Pennsylvania State University. As a professor, Dr. Deroze has taught in both the United States and in the United Arab Emirates over the past ten years. Her scholarship includes coining the term “womanist restorative drama” which she applied to black women’s plays about domestic violence and sexual assault and receiving a Fulbright grant to analyze shared feminist aesthetics between Arab Muslim women and Southern Black Christian women feminist. Recently, Dr. Deroze merged her academic pursuits with her devotion to diabetes advocacy and is emerging as one of the most prolific writers on the representation of diabetes in African American literature and popular culture.
Dr. Deroze has been featured in Health Monitor, Diabetic Living, and Diabetes Focus magazines and has given presentations, lectures, and keynote speeches in more than twenty countries including China, Oman, Wales, South Korea, Denmark, and Sweden.