Zen, Mindfulness, and Therapies for Men Who Abuse Intimate Partners

Chuka Nestor Emezue// Content warning: domestic violence. In a 2012 article, Ashleigh Owens, then a J.D. Candidate at Fordham Law, shared the following story pieced together from local media publications: “On January 17, 2010, in West Haven, Connecticut, Selami Ozdemir murdered his wife, Shengyl Rasim, in front of their two children. Ozdemir then used the…

Persons or Things? On the Ethics of Anatomical Dissection

Erik Larsen // “Open up a few corpses: you will dissipate at once the darkness that observation alone could not…” (Qtd. in Foucault 146). Xavier Bichat’s maxim, written in his Anatomie générale of 1801, described a new medical epistemology—one that informs medical practice and training to this day. Along with his Parisian colleagues, Bichat attempted…

Calling Medical Humanities Teachers!

Livia Arndal Woods // This is my last post as a regular writer for Synapsis. It has been such pleasure to participate in this growing community over the past two years. That participation has allowed me to explore a broad range interests in the Medical Humanities, interests that reach through and beyond my Victorianist scholarship….

Teaching Victorian Disability Studies

“What it must mean, if we are to be present in this age of challenges, is a profound rethinking of our pedagogical priorities, disciplinary boundaries, and subject positions. Let us actually be Victorianists.” –Christie Harner, “Victorian hybridities”[i] Travis Lau // As I begin to construct my syllabus for my introductory seminar on medical humanities and…

Authentic Empathy & Therapeutic Alliances (Part 1)

Chuka Nestor Emezue // “Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And…

Recording Women’s Contributions to the History of Victorian Health and Wellness

Jessica Kirwan // I recently interviewed Dr. Lesa Scholl, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Victorian Women Writers, which is soon to be published by Palgrave Macmillan for their Major Reference Works portfolio. Dr. Scholl is Head of Kathleen Lumley College at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Readers of Synapsis will be interested to know…

The Classic, or Institutionalization part II

Roanne Kantor // What happens when different kinds of institutions meet? When I asked that question this winter, the answer focused on the unevenness between various types of things that get theorized very abstractly as “institutions.” Can there be any use in exploring “institutionalization” and “de-institutionalization” in both medical and educational contexts? Within this larger…

A Discursive-Material Analysis of Stigma As Narrated By Victim Service Providers

Chuka Nestor Emezue// How and to what extent do victim service providers (VSP) co-construct stigma in their narratives of victimhood? In speaking with several VSPs – those who provide rehabilitative services for victims of trauma – my qualitative research study (ongoing as I write) on embodied stigma and narrated victimhood, has so far underscored the…

Neurodiverse Reading

Ittai Orr // In See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor (Duke Univ. Press, 2018), Ralph Savarese writes that literature is a kind of social medicine, that it represents a “way of restoring relation” (193). There is no better illustration of this power of literature—or rather, of a…

Health-Seeking, Stoicism, and Illness Behavior in Men’s Health

“Well-being is realized by small steps, but is truly no small thing.” – Zeno Chuka Nestor Emezue // While the concept of masculinity is socially conferred, its assumed philosophical attribute–stoicism–remains a personalized and guiding ideology practiced by stoical adherents (male and female) – either by omission or commission. My research looks at the foundational causes of…