Cases, Indian Soldiers and the First World War

Sanaullah Khan, Johns Hopkins University //             Personal correspondences in a British hospital where injured Indian soldiers were brought during the First World War, can perhaps be a useful archive to help illuminate the psychic and medical realities of the conflict. Although at first, it might appear as a stretch to think about medical cases…

Reconstructing the Medical Community In 1427 Florence

Claire Litt // In 1427 Maestro Giovanni Bartolomeo, a doctor of good social standing, lived in the Leon Rosso Quarter of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (Castato ID: 50005679). It was a good neighbourhood–in fact, the richest family in Florence, the Strozzi, lived there. Unlike other Italian city-states, the Guild of Doctors and Apothecaries in…

Maria Edgeworth’s Good Doctor

Lesley Thulin // The conversation surrounding biosecurity following the recent outbreak of coronavirus has prompted scholars to suggest the urgency of the medical humanities, a multi-disciplinary field that seeks to bring humanistic thinking to the clinical encounter. With the uptick in reported incidents of anti-Asian racism, a spate of violent protests related to epidemiological misinformation,…

Selling Sex: Erectile Dysfunction Treatments, Consumption, and Culture

John A. Carranza // In January 2020, Governor Gary Herbert of Utah suspended an HIV prevention campaign that used state-related sexual innuendo on condom packages to promote safer sex. For example, “Don’t Go Bare” was written over a bear’s backside. The issue, at least for Governor Herbert, was the use of taxpayer money that utilized…

Feeling Hot? Charting the Highs and Lows of Past and Present Fevers

Diana Novaceanu // Throughout the ages, fever has been a constant presence on an individual and collective scale, an “unavoidable part of everyday domestic experience” (Rosenberg, VIII).  The concept of fever has been reworked and reshaped with the gradual change of medical discourse. Moreover, fever effortlessly crossed into the metaphorical realm: its distorted sensory perception seemed…

Health by Post: Telemedicine and the Long Eighteenth Century

Madeleine Mant // The profound synergistic effect that distance—both geographic and sociocultural—plays upon health care access and outcomes is no surprise to contemporary physicians. As modern technological interventions such as eConsult, which allows patients’ cases to be ‘seen’ by a specialist without an in-person visit, become more commonplace, it is worthwhile to reflect on the…

Listening to patients: learning from sobreparto

Emilie Egger // Imagine calling to check up on a friend who has recently given birth. Five weeks postpartum, she tells you she barely has the energy to get out of bed to take care of her baby. Because her family had moved to a new city for work—away from her support system—her partner couldn’t…

(Re-)Producing Sexperimental Knowledge

Brent Arehart // Everybody knows where babies come from. When two people love each other, a stork brings them a child. Where does the stork pick up the baby for distribution? Why, the baby factory, of course. How does the baby factory make babies? Well, they just make them, you know, like a car factory…

A Look at a Florentine Book of Domestic Medicine

Claire Litt // A recipe book composed four hundred years ago sits on a shelf in Florence’s Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale (1). Its title, “Anon Raccolta di segreti alchimi […]” (Anonymous Collection of Alchemy Secrets […]) is similar to numerous other manuscripts in the collection and does not hint at all at all at the book’s…