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…

How to Survive an Epidemic?

Part of the way I cope with the demands of academic life is through gaming (and maybe eating my feelings from time to time). Gaming, for me, remains a rare pleasure (yet) untouched by my trained habits of critical interpretation. Whenever I make any attempts to pleasure-read, for instance, I still instinctively take a pen…

Lesion

    Darian Goldin Stahl, Artist-in-Residence // Lesion Beeswax, transducer, and sound. 2018   Lesion is a multi-sensory speculative exploration of what it would be like to materialize and hold an illness. I am most interested in discovering the community-building potential of the health humanities by transforming an internal disease into an external, tangible, and…

Institutionalization

Roanne Kantor // Earlier this month, I handed in the grades for  my course on narratives of disability from around the world.  At the same time I was teaching a graduate class about the interdisciplinary endeavor and its dependence on metaphor. The way that the same words have slippery and differing meanings depending on disciplinary…

Review – Living with Buildings

Emily Wheater // It was a dark, and extremely wet London evening, when I sought shelter in the Wellcome Collection in London a few weeks ago. Like many of Britain’s museums, it is free to enter (though you are free to spend money in the bookshop), and it is dry (despite the sodden Britons). And…

A homeless man in the building’s entrance hall

A discussion of Mathieu Lindon’s Les hommes tremblent // Benjamin Gagnon Chainey // “A man trembles in front of the building. The cold, fear, Parkinson’s? Should we call social services, the police, an ambulance? Alcohol, it doesn’t look like it. Hunger? Should we get him a sandwich? Is there something to do, or nothing, as…

‘Your Body Is a Temple’: A Social Justice Take on an Old Health Paradigm

Marcus Mosley // At the last session of the Tuskegee Negro Conference in 1914, Booker T. Washington spoke out about distressing recent statistics that said “45 percent of all deaths among Negroes were preventable; there are 450,000 Negroes seriously ill all the time; the annual cost of the illness is 75 million dollars; that sickness…

Three ‘Cs’ of Global Health’s Avalanche of Numbers

David Robertson // ‘Suicide rate up 33%’ reads a recent news headline; ‘dementia skyrocketed by 117% over just 26 years’, reads another.[1] Internationally, health media today indicates a growing reliance on the quantitative representation of health findings, outcomes, and interventions in a display of what philosopher of science Ian Hacking once described, referring to the…

Is Homebirth Safe? Problems of Classification

Liora O’Donnell Goldensher// The first thing I heard when I clicked on the link to Gatehouse Media’s recent story was a siren[1].  While I’d known a new long-form investigative project about out-of-hospital birth was underway, I wasn’t familiar with the publication or its goals, and neither were most of the midwives I know from my…

Painful Memories and Memorable Pain

Gabi Schaffzin // The following contains spoilers for Amazon’s Homecoming series. Proceed with caution. I’ve been thinking a lot about memory. This started after I recently finished bingeing on the Amazon series, Homecoming, a quick but worthwhile watch for the psychological-thriller fan in all of us. Briefly, the show, directed by Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail,…

“Let’s Play!”: The Use of Play Therapy in Child Healthcare

James Belarde// “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.” -Charlie Chaplin Children are the definition of potential. While having dinner with a friend at a vegetarian restaurant, the conversation turned to my gross undereducation in the field of vegetables and an abhorrent overeducation in the field of…