Dreaming for Survival in The Marrow Thieves

Amala Poli // Métis Canadian writer Cherie Dimaline’s novel set in a dystopian future titled The Marrow Thieves presents a society plagued by troubled sleep. This article examines Dimaline’s work in the context of a “sleep crisis”, which scholar Diletta de Cristofaro defines as “the notion that our modern society chronically struggles with a lack…

A double-edged pandemic

Sasheenie Moodley & Ebony Hilton // Long Covid (also known as long-haul Covid, post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and chronic Covid) has been shown to include various long-term respiratory, cardiac, and brain complications1 (see Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome2) as well as body pain, insomnia, psychological challenges.3 Post-mortem examinations show irreversible inflammation (structural changes) in the…

Essential Oils Entrepreneurship and the Dangers of the Patient Narrative

Haejoo Kim // The buzz around essential oils mobilizes two important keywords of today’s mainstream alternative health practices. First and foremost, they are “natural”—“Goodbye Toxins, Hello Nature,” advertises doTERRA, one of the largest essential oil companies currently operating in the US.[1] In the rhetorical universe of many alternative health practices today, nature is a keyword…

Airborne Imaginaries

Emily Waples // This month, the CDC published an update to its coronavirus guidelines, acknowledging the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, even at distances greater than now-sacrosanct six-foot radius. The revision was radical only in its belatedness, affirming well-established scientific evidence of aerosol transmission. Occurring on the heels of an April 30 update to the WHO…

Update: “Essential Oils and White Motherhood”

Emilie Egger// In September 2018, I wrote my first piece for Synapsis. My article was about essential oils and constructions of white motherhood, how essential oils are a multifaceted part of the post-feminist discourse that highlights sexual difference and the power of domesticity in producing a white, heterosexual future. I also briefly discussed companies’ focus…

The Hype Around Wonder Drugs, Then and Now

Brent Arehart // Every day, American viewers of television and streaming services alike are targeted by direct-to-consumer ads for pharmaceuticals. We are all too familiar with them. Chances are you already know something about Prozac, Lipitor, and myriads of other drugs even if you can’t recall off the top of your head what they are…

Hope on Trial

Sarah Roth // My parents shared a broad, brown desk in their home office. In the years of my mother’s struggle with ovarian cancer, a foot of papers, envelopes, and printouts were stacked on the desk, documenting clinical trials for which she might be eligible. For a time, the desk, with its thick layer of…