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…

The Cult of the Invalid: Industrial Underpinnings

In the first part of this three part essay, I examined the Enlightenment origins of “nervous illness” as a reaction to the development of rationalist scientific development. “Nerves” and neurasthenia challenged medicine’s increasingly mechanistic view of the body, and of illness as the breakdown of the body’s machinery. In this section, I will turn to…

Review: “Quackery” highlights history of trusting medical experts

Emilie Egger // Review of Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen. Quackery: a Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc. 2017. The publishers of Quackery promise “67 shocking but true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly,” and the book’s authors are well-suited to this…

“They’re Saying This Over Me”: Neutralizing the (White) Doctor’s Gaze

Marcus Mosley //  My mother tells me that in a New York hospital in 1994, there were two distinct sections in the maternity ward. One section consisted of “white ladies” having normal babies, and the other side, unofficially labeled the “reject section,” consisted of mostly black women from the nearby prison having not normal babies….

Bodies in Stone I

Calloway Scott // In an earlier post, I sketched the rise and characteristic features of Hippocratic medicine in the 5th century BCE. There I was interested in the peculiar forms of technical authority the Hippocratic practitioner developed over the bodies of his patients. I noted that the creation of such technical authority created a specific set…

A Discursive-Material Analysis of Stigma As Narrated By Victims Service Providers

Chuka Nestor Emezue// How and to what extent do victim service providers (VSP) co-construct stigma in their narratives of victimhood? In speaking with several VSPs – those who provide rehabilitative services for victims of trauma – my qualitative research study (ongoing as I write) on embodied stigma and narrated victimhood has so far underscored the…

Special Issue Review: Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein

Diana Rose Newby // Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein, theme issue of Literature and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, fall 2018. In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley concludes with well wishes for her creation’s second life: “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper” (25). Today,…

The Deaf Crusaders: A Risky Prophecy

Mia Florin-Sefton //      In March 2008, The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) hosted a talk titled “A Spotlight on Deafness” [1]. The talk was one in a long series dedicated to discussing various conditions thought to be potentially treatable with the development of new embryonic stem cell therapies (ESC). It is noteworthy, however, that…

Sacred Space

Jennifer & April Edwell//  Where do medical and spiritual geographies overlap?