Contagious Exhibits: Curating the Plague

Diana Novaceanu // The exhibit In Time of Plague: Five Centuries of Infectious Disease in the Visual Arts opened in January 1988 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It aimed to showcase both the “changing conventions” of illness representation and the ways in which artists dealt with “the gradual emergence of…

On physician advocacy

Michelle Munyikwa //  One of the first pieces I ever wrote about the practice of medicine was about vulnerability. At the time, I was concerned with how understanding vulnerability as intrinsic to care might help us communicate more effectively with patients. We might imagine how, if physicians found it easier to embody vulnerability, they could…

The Concept of Debility

In her book The Right to Maim, Jasbir Puar introduces the concept “debility,” distinguished from disability. The former is a process of slow wearing out, while the latter centralizes the event of becoming disabled and the entitlement afterward. In the disability framework, disability is exceptional, a condition caused by an accident that may affect anyone…

ASMR: The Therapeutic Potential of the Under–researched Tingles

Botsa Katara // Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism attributed to “a sensory phenomenon typically characterised by electrostatic-like tingling across the scalp, following the line of the spine downwards, extending to the arms and further depending on the intensity of the response” (1)[1].This sensation is triggered by certain auditory, tactile, visual and cognitive…

On Virality, Corona or Otherwise.

Travis Chi Wing Lau // About two weeks ago, I tweeted out about a troubling experience that happened while I was riding my apartment elevator after a long day of writing and teaching. Little did I know that it would circulate so widely, that it would go viral. In the ensuing days, replies to the…

A Collection of Corona Narratives

Sasheenie Moodley // The corona (Covid-19) virus has far-reaching consequences that are not exclusive to any single class, race, or ethnic group. In fact, these consequences are more ‘shared’ than unique. Below, I cite various international and national journals and newspapers. I reference a diverse group of ‘informants’ – including local residents, tourists, diplomats, politicians,…

The Intimacy of Storytelling in Isolation

Sara Press // In 1347, a plague descended upon Italy on the backs of rats dismounting ships at the Sicilian Port of Messina. The Bubonic Plague, better known as the “Black Death,” tore through Europe and the Middle East over the following years, leaving millions of civilians dead in its wake. In 1348, a group…

One nation, indivisible, with liberty and Medicare for All

Sarah L. Berry //  If you’re a voter under 65, you vote yes for the highest cost of healthcare per person in the world. That’s because no presidential candidate has advanced past the primaries to overhaul the expensive and inefficient multi-payer system in the U.S., a system for which expanded Medicare may be the antidote….

Exercise and the outdoors in the time of Coronavirus

Emily Wheater // The land of UK Lockdown is a strange one, where we are allowed out for essential purposes only. For the time being, exercise outdoors is counted as such an essential purpose due to its importance in maintaining physical and mental health. That fact that exercise and time spent outdoors is good for…