“Culture and Medicine: Critical Readings in the Health and Medical Humanities”

Synapsis is thrilled to announce the publication of a new book, Culture and Medicine: Critical Readings in the Health and Medical Humanities, just released from Bloomsbury. The book is edited by our editors-in-chief, Rishi Goyal and Arden Hegele, and it features essays by writers of Synapsis. Read an interview with Goyal and Hegele about the book and Synapsis here.  The book…

A Different Gaze

  Foucault was a French philosopher known for his interrogation of knowledge and structures of power. In Birth of the Clinic (1973) he described how the medical gaze arose from 18th-century dissection, which exposed ‘what for centuries had remained below the threshold of the visible and expressible’ developing further through 19th-century pathological anatomy, which reduced…

Translational Humanities for Public Health: An Introduction

In today’s post, I want to chronicle the experiences of a project led by Rice University’s Medical Futures Lab, and which I have been lucky to work on since the fall of 2020. It’s called the Translational Humanities for Public Health (THPH) project. I believe it mirrors the ambitions and methods of Synapsis in certain…

On the Lyric Essay as Illness Narrative

Every sound we make is a bit of autobiography. It has a totally private interior yet its trajectory is public. A piece of inside projected to the outside. Anne Carson, The Gender of Sound (Glass, Irony and God) As a doctor who also teaches creative writing, I am aware that features of narrative such as…

Funny Pink Pill: The Discourse of Delirium on r/DPH

A few years ago I stumbled upon a corner of the internet providing advice intended to guide new users through a nightmarish “trip” using the common antihistamine Diphenhydramine (DPH), more commonly known by the brand name Benadryl. The subreddit r/DPH has existed since April of 2014, currently boasts over 40k members and has risen in prominence in…

The Self-Obituary: Metaleptic Ruptures and Posthumous Care

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture/I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident/the art of losing’s not too hard to master/though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. Elizabeth Bishop, “The Art of Losing” These lines from Bishop’s poem immediately encapsulate for this essay two points. That losing (specifically a loved…