Medical Humanities In a Pandemic: Essential and Critical

Lakshmi Krishnan and Anna Reisman // Soon after our universities went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a medical student approached one of us to talk about Dr. Bernard Rieux, the doctor-protagonist in Albert Camus’ The Plague (La Peste, 1947). “Do you relate to him?” she asked. Rieux describes fighting the plague as an act…

Medical Violence and the Medieval “Miracle of the Black Leg”

Micah James Goodrich // CW: Visual and textual depiction of violence against a Black body The legends of Saints Cosmas and Damian, the patron saints of medicine, pharmacy, and surgery, are dramatic miracles to the highest degree. These early Christian martyrs lived and died in the third century, in what is now modern-day Syria. As…

A Comparative Book Review—Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology & Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems

Rachel Dudley // This comparative book review reflects my scholarly background as an interdisciplinary, feminist, health humanities thinker, and it brings together two distinct genres of writing.  These genres—medical historiography and poetry—allow readers to grapple with troubling histories of medical exploitation, cultural memory, and meaning-making in very different but equally generative ways.  In relation to…

Covid-19: Reframing Ageing

Anne Fuchs, Desmond O’Neill, Mary Cosgrove, and Julia Langbein // Report on the Interdisciplinary Webinar, University College Dublin, 12 June 2020 Introduction The Covid-19 crisis gave rise to stories of sickness and resilience, unemployment and solidarity, death and hope.  But from among these stories, the discourse on older people has been among the most controversial…

An Ethical Question from Sunflowers: A New Take on Nanette

Austin M. Hopkins // In her critically-acclaimed Netflix special Nanette, comic Hannah Gadsby begins her first show for a mainstream American audience with the playful autobiographical content which founded her home career in Australia. She makes self-deprecating but inherently uncomfortable jokes concerned with her identity as a lesbian woman. But as she continues into territory…

Vaccine Hesitancy and Social Justice in a Time of COVID-19

Kelly McGuire // At left: an image of a lottery machine, half-filled with numbered balls. Housebound citizens watch anxiously on televisions, waiting for their birth date to be called, disappointment mounting as it becomes clear their vaccination will now be happening fairly late in the process. The lottery itself is overseen by a military official…

Imperfect Measures: Notes on Humanization

Emily Waples// 1. In the beginning, I refresh endlessly. A thumb hovering over a search bar icon. An enter key tentatively pressed over a web address. Coronavirus update. There are always open tabs: the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, the CDC case data, the New York Times’s coronavirus map. You can watch the red dots bleed…