Introducing Synapsis

Dear Readers, Thank you! Editing, producing, designing (and reading!) this journal has been exceptionally gratifying. We are thankful for the bright and bold writers who each week step out of the confines of their traditional disciplines. We are thankful for being introduced to new ideas, artistic works and academic texts. And we are thankful for…

COVID-19 and the Future of Narrative Medicine

Dr. Iro Filippaki // The Covid-19 pandemic has illuminated the fact that medical culture and practice belongs to a complex system of ethics, signification, capitalist market, and political representation. This article considers how one of the pandemic’s legacies for narrative medicine might be to provide medical students with the theoretical and conceptual tools to deal…

Sex, Responsibility, & COVID-19

Dr. Brian J. Troth // In early 2020, the world turns its attention to the novel coronavirus that causes respiratory illness and, in the most malignant of cases, death. A maelstrom of information—of varying levels of veracity—inundates our news feeds everyday. In Ohio, where Governor DeWine has adopted an aggressive approach to containing the spread…

Prosthesis and Disability in the Age of Superhuman Functionality

Botsa Katara // Prostheses have been known to humanity since antiquity, with their earliest traces found in Ancient Rome and Egypt. But despite their existence for centuries, their evolution has been a slow and steady one. The change from simple wooden limbs to more aesthetically and technologically enhanced versions was the result of the 19th…

Those Other Sexual Diseases

Brent Arehart // These are strange times that we are living in. Politicians joking about the “beer virus,” social media encouraging social distancing, polls closing in the middle of a primary, dogs being walked by drones—very strange indeed. But it might not be all bad. Self-quarantining means more time at home. More time at home…

Cases, Indian Soldiers and the First World War

Sanaullah Khan, Johns Hopkins University //             To help illuminate the psychic and medical realities of the First World War, it is perhaps useful to study the archive of personal correspondences in a British hospital where injured Indian soldiers were brought during the conflict. Though conceiving of medical cases that arise out of personal correspondences…

Reconstructing the Medical Community In 1427 Florence

Claire Litt // In 1427 Maestro Giovanni Bartolomeo, a doctor of good social standing, lived in the Leon Rosso Quarter of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (Castato ID: 50005679). It was a good neighbourhood–in fact, the richest family in Florence, the Strozzi, lived there. Unlike other Italian city-states, the Guild of Doctors and Apothecaries in…

Places and Spaces in the Danish Health Services Over Time

Anders Juhl Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Narrative Medicine, Department for the Study of Culture, SDU with Mogens Hørder, Professor, Research Unit of User Perspectives, SDU // The CHCI Medical and Health Humanities Network will soon hold its 2020 yearly Summer Institute, “Space, Place, and Design in Medical and Health Humanities,” at the University of Southern…

This Music is Our Music

Erica Cao // The hallway opens up to a room where trophies and boomboxes line a fireplace mantel which emits a warm blanket-glow covering histories of unspoken trauma: abuse, violence, deaths. Children’s Aid and Family Services of NJ houses girls who are an average age of nine years old. There’s about eight girls in each home….

Waiting for Laughter, Part 2: Finding Empathy for Pain Through Humor

James Belarde // AUTHOR’S NOTE: Both this article and Part 1 discuss a short play written by the author that can be found in its entirety here. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” ­-Maya Angelou In my last article, I discussed a comedic (and tragic) play I wrote that was produced by my fellow…