Three ‘Cs’ of Global Health’s Avalanche of Numbers

David Robertson // ‘Suicide rate up 33%’ reads a recent news headline; ‘dementia skyrocketed by 117% over just 26 years’, reads another.[1] Internationally, health media today indicates a growing reliance on the quantitative representation of health findings, outcomes, and interventions in a display of what philosopher of science Ian Hacking once described, referring to the…

Is Homebirth Safe? Problems of Classification

Liora O’Donnell Goldensher// The first thing I heard when I clicked on the link to Gatehouse Media’s recent story was a siren[1].  While I’d known a new long-form investigative project about out-of-hospital birth was underway, I wasn’t familiar with the publication or its goals, and neither were most of the midwives I know from my…

Ted Chiang’s “Exhalation”: Uncanny Neuroscience and the Radical Self-Exam

Lauren Mitchell //   Ted Chiang’s short story “Exhalation,” which you can read online here, evokes pleasure alongside mourning. Written from the perspective of a nameless anatomist in a mechanized future, Chiang re-casts the body as an “extraordinary machine,” where air, flesh and blood is replaced by argon, metal and gold.

Cuento Therapy, Storytelling, and Men Who Abuse Women

Chuka Nestor Emezue // In 1985, Dr. Giuseppe Costantino and his colleagues, Drs. Robert G. Malgady, and Lloyd Henry Rogler, drafted their foremost paperback: “Cuento Therapy: folktales as a culturally sensitive psychotherapy for Puerto Rican children.” Their work provided instruction in Cuento Therapy, as well as its hopeful application to the field of child psychotherapy…

The Invention of “Greek” Medicine

Calloway Scott // Early histories of medicine in the west typically traced the “invention” of scientific medicine to the “Greek miracle” of the Classical era (500-323 BCE). That this historiographic narrative—offering contemporary medical method and thought a compelling and authoritative origin—suited a wide variety of 19th and early 20th century interests is hardly surprising. Positivist histories of…

Unlearning Eugenics: (Un)Forgetting Genetics

Mia Florin-Sefton // What’s cool about us/ we take our time/ we do it slow. These lines, taken from Eileen Myles’ poem Epic for You, bookend the concluding chapter of Dagmar Herzog’s new book: Unlearning Eugenics. What — one might very well ask — does this provocative and poetic evocation of sexual longing, lingering intimacy,…

Zika Coverage and the Limits of Repronormativity

Emilie Egger // After nearly two years of distressing headlines, the Zika virus had receded from mainstream news coverage. That was until a newly pregnant Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, set off for a tour of the South Pacific, where the virus has spread in recent months. The optics of hand wringing over the health…