‘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…

The Dawn of Diagnostic Culture: Contemporary Depression in Finland

Annastiina Mäkilä // The 21st century could be labeled the century of diagnostic culture.[1] During the last few decades, cultural understandings of depression in the West have undergone a homogenization toward biological and DSM-based frameworks. This is undoubtedly because many aspects of daily life are increasingly dependent on psychiatric diagnosis; not only is it required to access…

What the Autist Poet and Filmmaker, DJ Savarese, Taught Me About Neurodiversity

Katherine Berko // Though it is a truism that no two minds think alike, not all differences are treated equally.  This discrepancy is what has led austists and other activists over the past several decades to coin the term “neurodiversity,” which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “the range of differences in individual brain function…

Slaying the Threat of Female Sexuality: Vampirism and Medical Mutilation in the 19th Century Novel

Daisy Butcher // Content warning: Sexual violence and female genital mutilation In both Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ (1872), men from medical backgrounds slay wayward, sexual vampiresses. The nineteenth century saw the general encroaching of male doctors over female patients: while midwives had traditionally held authority in managing women’s health and childbirth,…

Notes from the Frontline: When Death Becomes Routine (Part 1)

David Thomas Peacock // I wasn’t prepared for so much death. Before I became an emergency room nurse, I worked on a neurology unit with stroke patients. I loved that job.  I gained a lot of clinical knowledge from my colleagues, but I learned even more about what it means to be a human faced…

Roundtable: How Old Should a Doctor Be?

On January 6, 2018, Dr Haider Javed Warraich published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “For Doctors, Age May Be More Than a Number.”  In this responsive roundtable, writers Anna Fenton-Hathaway (English literature), Jordan Babando (sociology), and Benjamin Gagnon Chainey (French literature) consider the possibilities and provocations of thinking about how a doctor’s…

Mental Health under the Hungarian People’s Republic

Molly Nebiolo // The fall of Communism in Eastern Europe happened nearly thirty years ago, but historians are still piecing together what life was like behind the Iron Curtain. Many of the narratives about Communist regimes gravitate towards the major countries that pursued reformist policies, like Russia and China, but few texts focus on many…

Ockham’s Scalpel

Now in my first year of medical school, I am reminded of the last time I learned a new methodology. I was a first-year student at a liberal arts college and decided to enroll in introduction to philosophy. We had read a few seminal works in our required freshman humanities seminar, and I had enjoyed…