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…

Ukugula Kwabantu: A Call to Expand the Understanding of Mental Health

Sinethemba Makanya // South African morbidity data show that mental disorders are the third highest contributor to the local burden of disease, after HIV and other infectious diseases (1). The rise in the number of people in South Africa with mental disorders highlights the growing burdens of mental illness that the country faces. Yet despite…

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Health ✪ Part 1

Sarah L. Berry // Keep your politics out of my uterus. I can’t breathe. My Body, My Choice. Current social justice movements proclaim that not all bodies are free in the twenty-first-century United States. Demonstrators use public spaces to stage die-ins, march on Washington, D.C. and state capitols, and gather support over social media. Founded…

How can HIV-positive women be good mothers?

Sasheenie Moodley // We are told that a “good mother” is the trope of a mother who is loving and nurturing (Chess, 1982; Mercer, 1985). She prioritises and protects her infant. This mother has a good relationship with her “happy” infant (Benedek, 1959). It is a good mother’s job to understand her child’s behaviour and…

Zen, Mindfulness, and Therapies for Men Who Abuse Intimate Partners

Chuka Nestor Emezue// Warning: Triggering content (domestic violence) In a 2012 article, Ashleigh Owens a J.D. Candidate (at the time) with the Fordham University School of Law, shared the following story pieced together from local media publications: “On January 17, 2010, in West Haven, Connecticut, Selami Ozdemir murdered his wife, Shengyl Rasim, in front of…

Five Decades of “Semiotic” Fetal Imagery in the US: Part 1

Emilie Egger // In July 2019, Dr. Leana Wen resigned from her post as president of Planned Parenthood, citing philosophical differences with her former employer. In an op-ed published in The New York Times published days after her resignation, she summarized their differences as medicine versus politics. “I have long believed that the most effective…

Galvanism in 19th Century French Theater: Bringing Dead Words Back to Life

Pauline Picot // Have you ever felt galvanized? Surely you must have—if we consider the meaning that is nowadays assigned to this verb, which is to “shock or excite (someone) into taking action”[1]. But have you ever felt galvanized in an electrical sense, according to the original meaning of the word? The term comes from…

The Risks We Take: How to Talk About Risk Today

Dr. Brian J. Troth // Is risky behavior exciting and sexy? If we believe this to be true, then what happens when risk becomes harder to define, harder to pinpoint? In the year 2019, the risk of becoming HIV-positive is more mitigated than ever before thanks to a revolutionary preventative approach called PrEP. Critical regard…

The Power to Kill: the Immunologics and Necropolitics of Whiteness

Salvador Herrera // Racial thinking evolves and adapts, but earlier ideas tend to linger and splice with other discourses in a chain of pervasive and dangerous myths. The danger of these myths lies in their hierarchical notions of racial inferiority. Logics of race are evoked to justify war and genocide against foreign bodies, as if…

Medical Memories and Realities in Newfoundland and Labrador

Madeleine Mant // If you went looking for the Pilley’s Island hospital today, as I did one windswept July afternoon, all you would find is a private driveway at the top of a sharp incline, partially overgrown with the tall grasses and stout greenery typical of the Newfoundland and Labrador landscape. Down the hill, past…