Double Bind. A Collaborative Piece on Care and Its Mixed Perceptions

Pauline Picot // Being taken care of is serious. Being taken care of is the first thing you experience when you come to life. You surrender to another human being and in doing so, you establish your first human relationship. Being taken care of is belonging to someone; being the object of their care. Being…

Trump, Madness, Tricolon Crescendos

Pasquale S. Toscano // Madness is therefore defined to be a vehement dotage, or raving without a fever, far more violent than melancholy, full of anger and clamour, horrible looks, actions, gestures, troubling the patients with far greater vehemency both of body and mind, without all fear and sorrow, with such impetuous force and boldness…

Interview: Lisa Olstein on Pain Studies

Micah Bateman // Lisa Olstein, the author of four collections of poetry, recently released a prose meditation on chronic migraine, Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020). Thinking through migraine and with migraine, Olstein’s study threads in and out of autobiography, history, philosophy, literature, pop culture, and more—making piquant stops along the way at Joan of…

Teenagers connecting with their babies

Sasheenie Moodley // In this article, I explore what happens to teenage mothers – and the way they live their lives – after their babies are born. This article follows one of my earlier pieces in Synapsis titled “Teenage mother love.” Here, I argue that there is another dimension of teenage mothering that complements ‘mother…

Synthetic Life: Anatomy, Paternity, and Personhood in Star Trek: Picard

Rebecca M. Rosen // What truly constitutes a person—their consciousness or their anatomy? Who determines “real” personhood, and how much does biological human(oid) anatomy have to do with that? Which is all to say, what is a person, and who can call themselves “real”? These are the questions viewers are prompted to address in Star…

Death Wish: Caring for the Dead and Dying in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia

Timothy Kent Holliday // “Dying is an art, like everything else” (Plath 245). With these words twentieth-century poet Sylvia Plath alluded to her own suicidal ideation. Death wishes of a different kind entwined in cities like Philadelphia in the 1830s, a century before Plath’s birth: the dying dreams of a patient, and the nineteenth-century anatomist’s…

The Case for the Country Doctor

Scott C. Thompson // The nineteenth-century “country doctor”—making community house calls, accepting direct and indirect payments, treating patients with a limited range of pharmaceutical and technological options—is a paradoxical figure in Victorian fiction.[1] While perceived as disconnected from the cutting edge of Western scientific and medical research taking place in urban centers (such as London,…

Brave New World: Cyberpunk 2077’s novel depiction of mental illness

Steve Server // By now, many have heard of Cyberpunk 2077, even those not normally within the gamer-orbit.  The early rollout of the game has been plagued by game-breaking glitches and unexpectedly poor graphics and performance.  Beyond the controversial rollout—and underneath the typical blood and guts associated with violent role-playing games—Cyberpunk 2077 has something unique to say about mental…