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…

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,…

Roundtable: Medical Humanities and Visual Culture (Part I)

Editor’s note: This two-part roundtable features critiques of contemporary visual culture as seen through a medical humanist lens. In Part I, below, Laila Knio and Alyson Lee draw on the scholarship of sociologist Arthur Frank to interpret how pharmaceutical advertising depicted mental illness among Black Americans in the 1970s and plastic surgery for young South…

Roundtable: Medical Humanities and Visual Culture (Part II)

Editor’s note: This two-part roundtable features critiques of contemporary visual culture as seen through a medical humanist lens. Part I drew on research in sociology to interpret pharmaceutical advertising. In Part II, below, Leah Rosen and Lilli Schussler tackle questions of the reproduction and extension of human life: Rosen in the context of 1930s popular…

Macbeth and the Physician’s Terror

Emmanuel Adams // Lately, the term “impostor syndrome” has gained prominence in both popular and scientific literature. First coined in 1978 as “impostor phenomenon,” it is typically “characterized by chronic feelings of self-doubt and fear of being discovered as an intellectual fraud” within academic circles (Clance and Imes; Villwock et al.). Unlike the general academic…

Crushing Bones

Ivan Calaff // “Shut. The. Fuck. Up! Don’t you dare move!” That was how my first interaction with the police went down. I was only 8 years old. Every word, a promise of violence to come; the kind of violence that packs- a-16-shot 9-millimeter Glock, wears steeled-toed boots, violence that kicks out teeth, smashes testicles,…

Letter to America

Eileen Maher // Dear America, Greetings and Salutations to my fellow world citizens. I am Eileen, your local, or not-so-local, Individual-Who-Is-Formerly-Incarcerated and a Criminalized-Survivor-of-Domestic-Violence. I have always enjoyed writing, and while I was incarcerated I, like most others, spent a great deal of time writing letters, essays, and journals. I was in jail and prison…

Polo Grounds. A Photographic Essay

Levar Henry // Ten things you get out of looking at these photos: While waiting for the elevators it’s human nature to check out the City’s advertising for adults and children in the Polo Grounds of NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority. Nonetheless, a disturbing advertisement. You are made to wait. You are made…

Autoethnography in her own song & lyrics

Egypt R. Dior // For my project I requested to take a different approach. Due to limited time, I did not have the time needed to master my track for autoethnography. My approach entailed questions I asked myself, brief questions geared toward my life during my incarceration, during the current pandemic, about how my “existence”…

Visibility

Luke Ross Lyons // Let me help you focus on the impact of COVID-19 on our “invisible population,” the incarcerated, locked behind barbed-wire fences, steel doors, and concrete walls, only hoping not to become infected. Let me share my own personal experiences inside prison and in the world of COVID-19 and the effects that my…