The Beast Within: Mental Illness in Arto Paasilinna’s The Howling Miller

Avril Tynan // Throughout the nineteenth century, degeneration theory associated certain behaviours and physical and psychological pathologies with a pseudo-Darwinian atavism of primitive traits and characteristics. One need only think of Émile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series, and particularly his 1890 novel La bête humaine (The Beast in Man or The Beast Within), to note the parallels…

Meanings of Empathy for a Politics of Care

Erica Cao // It wasn’t until the 1900s that psychologist Edward Titchener translated the German word, “einfühlung,” from a concept of aesthetics into the English word, “empathy,” of human understanding that we know today. The relatively recent birth of the word seems to be gaining ever more use in popular discourse. In the wake of…

T in the Time of Coronavirus

Diana Rose Newby // Why has COVID-19 killed more men than women? As the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 continues its global spread, infection patterns and fatality rates have prompted this question both among medical experts and in the popular media. As of late April, data confirmed this disparity in multiple regions of the world: in China,…

To be or not to be (sad)?: Engaging with negative emotions

Bríd Phillips // Recently I came across research on Shakespeare and positive emotions which made the point that the field of the History of Emotions has focused almost exclusively on the so-called negative emotions represented by writers in the early modern period. This statement gave me pause. I examined the work I had myself attended…

Technology, Paranoia, and the Therapeutic Encounter

“This isn’t therapy, what we’ve done. We’ve erased things.” — Heidi Bergman, Homecoming (TV version).  Roanne Kantor and Anna Mukamal // This fall I had the pleasure of teaching a course on intersections between disability and technology. In putting together the syllabus, I quickly noticed that one of the most potent sites for this question…

The Elusive Nature of Dreams: Shifting Research Trends

Amala Poli // Dreams continue to be sources of mystery and fascination, eluding universal explanations, blurring reality and fiction and mixing the two in curious ways. We are closer now than we have ever been before to having comprehensive explanations of all sleep-related phenomena, ontological and phenomenological accounts that are backed by neuroscientific sleep research….