Notes from the Frontline: When Death Becomes Routine (Part 1)

David Thomas Peacock // I wasn’t prepared for so much death. Before I became an emergency room nurse, I worked on a neurology unit with stroke patients. I loved that job.  I gained a lot of clinical knowledge from my colleagues, but I learned even more about what it means to be a human faced…

Object Lessons

Travis Lau // While I was in graduate school, the issue of method was at the center of many discussions from reading practices to interdisciplinarity. In fact, a major conference organized by our Gender and Sexuality (“Gen/Sex”) Working Group was on the topic of method. Collectively we asked a number of difficult yet fundamental meta-questions…

For the (EH) Record

Jennifer & April Edwell// Patient records have come a long way since the days of notes jotted in physician’s journals. In the bygone era of paper charting, physicians had to flip through files, deciphering scribbled numbers and words, hastily trying to (re)interpret the patient’s past. Medical residents hurried to capture patients’ ever-changing information and provide…

Upcoming Conference: Neurodiversities

A CHCI Medical Humanities Network / Duke Health Humanities Lab@FHI Symposium: NEURODIVERSITIES // Oct. 26-27, 2018, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University // The term “neurodiversity,” first popularized by the autism community, challenges the pathologization of neurological deviation from a conventional social spectrum of “neurotypicality.” Another branch of “neurodiversity” discourse challenges the abstraction of the ideas…

Cultivating “Epistemological Humility”: How to Reimagine the Medical Humanities

Sari Altschuler. The Medical Imagination: Literature and Health in the Early United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018. Travis Chi Wing Lau // In The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature Between the Darwins (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Devin Griffiths defined the field of science and literature in terms of its “central object”:…

Roundtable: How Old Should a Doctor Be?

On January 6, 2018, Dr Haider Javed Warraich published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “For Doctors, Age May Be More Than a Number.”  In this responsive roundtable, writers Anna Fenton-Hathaway (English literature), Jordan Babando (sociology), and Benjamin Gagnon Chainey (French literature) consider the possibilities and provocations of thinking about how a doctor’s…

Taking Stock: Disability Studies and the Medical Humanities

While on the academic job market over the past few months, I had many opportunities to define myself as a scholar. You get particularly good not only at elevator pitches—short, pithy descriptions of your intellectual interests and dissertation project—but also at sketching out your intellectual formation. My research and teaching interests have primarily been in…

Ockham’s Scalpel

Now in my first year of medical school, I am reminded of the last time I learned a new methodology. I was a first-year student at a liberal arts college and decided to enroll in introduction to philosophy. We had read a few seminal works in our required freshman humanities seminar, and I had enjoyed…