Sex, Responsibility, & COVID-19

Dr. Brian J. Troth // In early 2020, the world turns its attention to the novel coronavirus that causes respiratory illness and in the most malignant of cases, death. A maelstrom of information–of varying levels of veracity–inundates our news feeds everyday. In Ohio, where Governor DeWine has adopted an aggressive approach to containing the spread…

Reconstructing the Medical Community In 1427 Florence

Claire Litt // In 1427 Maestro Giovanni Bartolomeo, a doctor of good social standing, lived in the Leon Rosso Quarter of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (Castato ID: 50005679). It was a good neighbourhood–in fact, the richest family in Florence, the Strozzi, lived there. Unlike other Italian city-states, the Guild of Doctors and Apothecaries in…

Places and Spaces in the Danish Health Services Over Time

Anders Juhl Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Narrative Medicine, Department for the Study of Culture, SDU with Mogens Hørder, Professor, Research Unit of User Perspectives, SDU // The CHCI Medical and Health Humanities Network will soon hold its 2020 yearly Summer Institute, “Space, Place, and Design in Medical and Health Humanities,” at the University of Southern…

On the power of play

Steve Server // A critical part of pediatrics is mastering the physical exam. Kids are squirmy. They aren’t used to tolerating noxious stimuli—like instruments in ears or cold metal on skin—like adults are. Consequently, seasoned pediatricians have a box full of tricks to make for effective physical examinations for kids. Don’t rush immediately to place…

Coronavirus at the Border: The Nation-State as Involuntary Quarantine

Bojan Srbinovski // On the evening of November 13, 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in the metropolitan area of Paris. Six different locations were targeted in a combination of mass shootings and a suicide bombing. In the deadliest attack on France since World War II, and the deadliest attack on the European…

Maria Edgeworth’s Good Doctor

Lesley Thulin // The conversation surrounding biosecurity following the recent outbreak of coronavirus has prompted scholars to suggest the urgency of the medical humanities, a multi-disciplinary field that seeks to bring humanistic thinking to the clinical encounter. With the uptick in reported incidents of anti-Asian racism, a spate of violent protests related to epidemiological misinformation,…

Sonny’s Blues: A Template for Eliciting Patient’s Narratives

Marcus Mosley // In its portrayal of the evolution of one person trying to understand another’s narrative, James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” models a number of ways in which doctors can cultivate more productive relationships with patients, through both careful language choices and emotional attunement. In order to fully understand a patient’s narrative and correctly…

Research on (and with) Abantu: A Reflection

Sinethemba Makanya // The title of my PhD research project is “Ukugula Kwabantu[1]: The Construction of Mental Health by Traditional Healers.” Throughout the process of my research, however, I have realized that my question is not necessarily whether or not “mental health” exists within the traditional healing canon, but rather, it is a question of…

Must the Medical Subject be “Human”? Normativity, Humanism, and the Medical Humanities

Erik Larsen // “He is the object of information, never a subject in communication” (200). With this pithy formula, Foucault summarizes the prisoner’s situation within the panoptic prison. The prisoner is everywhere observed and monitored, made into an object of study and manipulation, while never communicating personally with their panoptic observer. Foucault’s description of modern…

Desire II: Desire and its Object

Chia Yu Lien // For philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, desire produces perpetually new objects. Unlike Freud and Freudian scholars, who consider desire as lacking and trace the desired object back to the mother–child relationship, Deleuze and Guattari argue: “the real object can be produced only by an external causality and external mechanisms; nonetheless…