Twin Studies

Back in September, I found myself in a small community just outside of Ithaca, NY, in the company of several colleagues from Cornell. We were there to participate in community’s annual “Fun Run.” I use the term “fun” here with some reservations, defining it provisionally and according to terminology that was current when I ran... 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 →

Metaphors in Medicine

Charlene Kotei Communication is one of humanity’s oldest and most sophisticated technologies. Narrative is an integral part of the day-to-day transmission of ideas between people. In the medical world, technological and scientific advances have likewise made tremendous advances. And yet, the medical field still lacks the key to success: the effective interpretation of narrative. To... Continue Reading →

Indigenous Poetics and Narrative Medicine

What exactly is narrative medicine, and how is it different from the work of humanities scholars who investigate medical topics? With this problem in mind, I set out to explore the roots of narrative medicine--not in academic medical schools, but in North American indigenous practices of healing through ritual storytelling. In our moment, narrative medicine... Continue Reading →

Edward Said’s Migratory End-of-Life Aesthetics

Bassam Sidiki In his influential work The Wounded Storyteller (1995), sociologist Arthur W. Frank makes a move that has been largely undertheorized: the application of postcolonial theory to illness narratives. “Just as political and economic colonialism took over geographic areas,” he writes, “modernist medicine claimed the body of the patients as its territory, at least... Continue Reading →

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