The Epigenetics of Trauma

Diana Rose Newby // The growth of the memory culture may, indeed, be a symptom of a need for inclusion in a collective membrane forged by a shared inheritance of multiple traumatic histories and the individual and social responsibility we feel toward a persistent and traumatic past … (Hirsch 111) What does it mean to…

“bodies mutilated for the nation”: Reproductive Rights and Women of Color Across Time

Sydnee Wagner and Alicia Andrzejewski // “Colonizers want land, but indigenous bodies forming nations are in the way because they form a strong attachment to land and because they replicate indigeneity…[the colonizers] see Indigenous women’s and girls’ bodies as the bodies that reproduce nations”—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Introduction Our title’s opening quote, “bodies mutilated for the…

The Evolution of Comparative Anatomy

Emily Wheater // A Design for Life, an exhibit on at the Surgeons’ Hall Museums in Edinburgh, is tiny. Yet, in one room, the contribution of 18th – 19thC comparative anatomy to medical education and training of the day and to the development of early evolutionary theory is told cogently and precisely. The tale encompasses…

A for Abortion: The Weaponized Vocabulary of a Medical Procedure

Lauren A. Mitchell//   The OED defines Abortion as, “The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy; The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes before it is able to survive independently; An object or undertaking regarded by the speaker as unpleasant or badly…

Inhabiting Inner Worlds: Narrative Threads in ‘Mrs Dalloway’

Amala Poli // Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is a modernist text that captures the preoccupations of Woolf’s time. It also draws a timeless mindscape of an individual suffering from mental illness: the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith. This article explores some strands specific to the character and the texts that discuss Woolf’s work on…

Sewing the Tapestry of the History of Psychiatry: Anne Harrington’s ‘Mind Fixers’

David Robertson // Over the last twenty years, considerable scholarly contributions have been made to the history of psychiatry. We have had historical analyses of the concept of “nerves” and “neurasthenia,” of “trauma” and the emergence of diagnoses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.[1] Historians have examined the material settings of neuropsychiatric efforts to localize brain…

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…

Byron’s Pharmacopoeia

Lesley Thulin // In his 17-canto opus Don Juan (1819-24), Lord Byron adapts the epic form to modernity. The Horatian epigraph, “Difficile est proprie communia dicere,” announces that he will speak of common things, presaging the poem’s engagement with the ordinary. Byron takes up family conflict, courtship, and ritualized reading, for instance, and rejects the…

What we talk about when we talk about conversion disorder

Sneha Mantri // This three-part essay is an examination of “nervous illness” as a reaction to the rising tide of rationalist scientific development in Western society, focusing on three distinct periods of technological change. In part 1, I examined the Enlightenment’s increasingly mechanistic view of body and illness; in part 2, I turned to the…