Bad Readers or Bad Sci-Fi?

Anna Fenton-Hathaway 1. A recent lunch conversation skittered around awhile before landing, not atypically these days, on how we should all be preparing for the AI apocalypse. My husband tends to imagine the impact of artificial intelligence in terms of employment, a la Kevin Drum’s “You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot.” But our friends... Continue Reading →

My Graphic Medicine Journey (Part Three)

The life course being a journey with various obstacles to overcome, and lessons to be learned, is a prevalent metaphor that has achieved almost mythic status. The anthropologist Ronald Grimes claims that ‘we do not escape metaphors, myths, and rituals; we only change them’ (146). Over the course of my previous two posts (Part 1,... Continue Reading →

Teaching Invisibilia: Culture and Conceptions of Mind, Mental Illness and Sanity in the United States

Abigail Jane Mack In “The Power of Categories,” an early episode of NPR’s popular podcast, Invisibilia, Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel spin a web of scientific inquiry and human interest stories to interrogate the role—the power—categories have in shaping our lives. They tell us how early infants learn to discriminate between cat and dog before... Continue Reading →

“Those Are the Terms”

Anna Fenton-Hathaway When Ursula Le Guin’s 1973 “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” appears on a Science Fiction and Bioethics syllabus, what should medical students think? First, they might reasonably ask, is this even science fiction? bioethics? “Omelas” has been called a “psychomyth” by its author (254); a “descriptive work of philosophical fiction” by Wikipedia; and... Continue Reading →

My Graphic Medicine Journey (Part Two)

Referencing Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the first part of this post discussed humanity’s predisposition towards metaphors of journey and quest, and the possible application (as well as troubling) of these metaphors, against my own experience of chronic illness, academia, and comics. The stage at which I left this post, The Supernatural Aid, is when a... Continue Reading →

What Does Defamiliarization Make Happen?

Anna Fenton-Hathaway I learned the literary term “defamiliarization” years after it had upended a tiny part of my worldview. Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (1877), narrated by the horse of the title, was the vehicle for that early upending. One particularly heart-rending chapter meant that for years I could not look at a horse without being... Continue Reading →

WordPress.com.

Up ↑