Hopes and Fears in The #HiddenCurriculum

As I walked to the library one morning this week, I could tell that the campus was beginning to fill with the inevitable buzz of students returning for the fall semester. I felt a rush of expectation and excitement, and I was reminded of the powerful and subtle feelings that academic rituals can evoke. And…

In the Silent Land of Pain

“All I ask is not to have to change cell, not to have to descend into an in pace, down there where everything’s black, and thought no longer exists.”[1] These words, at once suffering and troubling, are these of the French writer Alphonse Daudet, who died of syphilis in 1897. La Doulou, a collection of fragments…

The Complicated History of the Visual Analog Scale: Part 2

Gabi Schaffzin // Last month, I introduced the Visual Analog Scale and began to trace its history back through the 20th century. I ended with the suggestion that use of the VAS was made necessary by the ways in which pain trials changed in a post-Beecherian world. Pain researchers adopted the VAS from the world of…

Materializing James Barry’s Archive

Jessica Kirwan // Stories about Victorian surgeon James Barry encourage a re-examination of our own limitations in understanding gender and sex. In fiction and non-fiction, Barry’s transgender body has prompted discussions about the ideologies thought necessary for societal acceptance of non-traditional bodies practicing medicine.

Upcoming Conference: Neurodiversities

A CHCI Medical Humanities Network / Duke Health Humanities Lab@FHI Symposium: NEURODIVERSITIES // Oct. 26-27, 2018, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University // The term “neurodiversity,” first popularized by the autism community, challenges the pathologization of neurological deviation from a conventional social spectrum of “neurotypicality.” Another branch of “neurodiversity” discourse challenges the abstraction of the ideas…

The Theater of Medicine: Inchbald’s Animal Magnetism

Travis Lau // After graduating in May, I had the unexpected opportunity to contribute to an ongoing digital humanities initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. Headed by my former dissertation advisor, Michael Gamer, and Digital Humanities Specialist, Scott Enderle, the Penn Playbills Project makes use of the understudied archive of over 6,000 playbills housed in…

Vampire Dearest: Maternal Bodies and the Female Vampire

Livia Arndal Woods // Consider Bram Stoker’s Lucy in her vampiric form: she holds a small child “strenuously to her breast.” Once the virginal victim of nocturnal bedroom attacks, Lucy is now a sexualized threat striking a monstrously maternal pose. The child is not Lucy’s baby but her meal. Nonetheless, this gothic scene is suggestive…