My Anxious Brain Inspires Me

Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo // “A writer….must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument…This is even stronger in the case of the artist that happens, including humiliations. embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art.” -Jorge Luis Borges This story offers a snapshot into my head to provide a humanistic…

Notes on Spinal Catastrophism

Travis Chi Wing Lau // “It is the duty of a spine to destroy the universe; or, a spine is the universe’s method of acknowledging this duty to self-destruct.”[1] To my scoliosis, reads the dedication to Thomas Moynihan’s Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History (Urbanomic 2019). This line alone was more than enough for me to…

Austen, Expectations, and Crips in the World

Pasquale S. Toscano // I’ve been reading a great deal of Jane Austen lately, which is odd, because I’ve never considered myself a fan of the grande dame of English letters. All of her plots are so damn predictable, and well—how shall we put this—quaint. And then there are those maddeningly handsome gentlemen and far-too-fetching…

Archive Fevers, Archive Cures: Leprosy and Decolonization in Hawaii

Bassam Sidiki // In the summer of 2019, a mere months before the pandemic would dramatically alter our lives, I boarded a plane from Detroit to Honolulu. I had received a pre-doctoral research grant to visit the Hawaii National Archives where they keep papers of the Kalaupapa Leper Settlement on the island of Molokai. This…

Emotions as Ethnography: The Story Doctor’s Toolbox

Cover Image: My Aunts by Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo 2021. Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo// I am always “in my feelings.” I say this unapologetically, and knowing that some Latina women are rendered in popular culture as lacking control of their emotions and impulses. The overlap between these representations and my ethnographic life does not escape me. Empathy, “my gut,” memories,…