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…

Review-Borderlands Curanderos: The Worlds of Santa Teresa Urrea and Don Pedrito Jaramillo by Jennifer Koshatka Seman

John A. Carranza // In Borderlands Curanderos, Dr. Jennifer Koshatka Seman provides an extensive study of the healing careers of Santa Teresa Urrea and Don Pedro Jaramillo. Both healers were born in Mexico before crossing the border to practice curanderismo, “an earth-based healing practice that blends elements of indigenous medicine with folk Catholicism” (1). Seman…

The Hype Around Wonder Drugs, Then and Now

Brent Arehart // Every day, American viewers of television and streaming services alike are targeted by direct-to-consumer ads for pharmaceuticals. We are all too familiar with them. Chances are you already know something about Prozac, Lipitor, and myriads of other drugs even if you can’t recall off the top of your head what they are…

Death Wish: Caring for the Dead and Dying in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia

Timothy Kent Holliday // “Dying is an art, like everything else” (Plath 245). With these words twentieth-century poet Sylvia Plath alluded to her own suicidal ideation. Death wishes of a different kind entwined in cities like Philadelphia in the 1830s, a century before Plath’s birth: the dying dreams of a patient, and the nineteenth-century anatomist’s…

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,…

Entering the Mystery: The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness

Emily Waples // Emily Dickinson, we know, did not title her poems. But when Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson set out to publish their first edition of Dickinson’s work in 1890, four years after her death, they took this liberty. What contemporary readers of R.W. Franklin’s edition may now know as poem #760,…

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…

Too Close for Comfort: The Familiarity of Anti-Mask Rhetoric

Haejoo Kim // Last summer, a friend was accosted by a woman as he was walking down the street to my house in Syracuse, NY. The woman was not wearing a mask and wanted him to take off his mask as well. “Look up Andrew Kaufman, MD,” she yelled, “you will learn everything you need…

Thanksgiving, Tradition, and Ted Cruz: A Public Health Crisis

John A. Carranza // On November 21, 2020, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted the cover image of a trussed and cooked turkey with a black star immediately above it and the words “Come and Take It” below. The tweet is a take on the flag used at the Battle of Gonzales in Texas, in…

Locating Emotion in Our Language and Bodies

Claire Litt // Practically speaking, heartbreak is nonsensical. We know the heart is a muscle, and that muscles do not break—they tear. Yet no despondent lover has ever laid prostrate on their bed complaining of heart tears. Though it is a muscle, the heart breaks as a bone—and the fact that we say so informs…