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…

Icepick to Paintbrush: Nise da Silveira’s Psychiatry

Marcela Costa If creativity, rebellion and innovation are indispensable vehicles to bring about change, Brazilian psychiatrist and health humanities pioneer Nise da Silveira was a shining example of these qualities. Born in the impoverished Northeastern region of Brazil in 1905, she was the first woman to graduate from her medical school, among 157 men (Frayze-Pereira,…

Stranger Things: Maternal Body Horror

Daisy Butcher Femininity, flowers and death have long been interconnected in the myths, folktales and stories that have captivated cultures across the globe. In their beauty and delicacy, plants can be a source of joy, but in their poisonous, thorned, or carnivorous aspects, they can also inspire fear. Nowhere are these two registers so diametrically…