A Girl and a Neem Tree: Identity and the Belonging of Not Belonging

I’m not sure I know what belonging is.  There are moments I can glimpse it—my mother tucking curly fly-aways behind my ear, wafts of samosa hovering above the chatter of Aunties huddled around the stove, the borrowed humming of a sitar in the background of my favorite television show—the actors’ skin paler than my own. …

Against the Return to Normal: Trauma and Human Sociality

Bojan Srbinovski // The past three months have given people in the United States good reasons for cautious optimism. After a disastrous winter season that saw the number of recorded cases of COVID-19 rise over 300,000 per day and the total number of deaths exceed half a million people, the pandemic and the country seem…

Emotions as Ethnography: The Story Doctor’s Toolbox

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, and emotions are all my critical tools…

Double Bind. A Collaborative Piece on Care and Its Mixed Perceptions

Pauline Picot // Being taken care of is serious. Being taken care of is the first thing you experience when you come to life. You surrender to another human being and in doing so, you establish your first human relationship. Being taken care of is belonging to someone; being the object of their care. Being…

Brave New World: Cyberpunk 2077’s novel depiction of mental illness

Steve Server // By now, many have heard of Cyberpunk 2077, even those not normally within the gamer-orbit.  The early rollout of the game has been plagued by game-breaking glitches and unexpectedly poor graphics and performance.  Beyond the controversial rollout—and underneath the typical blood and guts associated with violent role-playing games—Cyberpunk 2077 has something unique to say about mental…

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…