Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Health ✪ Part 2: Woman, M.D.

Sarah L. Berry // If you’re a female voter, thank a woman doctor. Without 19th-century female physicians, we might not soon be celebrating the 100th anniversary of suffrage. In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree just as the women’s rights movement kicked off in Seneca Falls, NY….

Write/Right About Your Body

Madeleine Mant // I teach Introduction to the Anthropology of Health to an exquisitely diverse group of second-year undergraduate students. The class is a gateway prerequisite to all upper-level health-stream courses, thus it necessitates a balance between the biological and sociocultural aspects of health anthropology. Students are exposed to the work of Gregor Mendel and…

From Healing to Feeling: Two Experiments with Electric Shocks

Pauline Picot // 2013. Lyon, France. A young woman is sitting on a chair. She has long, well-groomed hair and is wearing a denim jacket. She knows what is about to happen. She agreed to participate. There is a disposable camera in front of her. She hesitates for a moment. Then she suddenly presses the…

Environmental Neurodiversity and Systems Change

Neşe Devenot // Neurodivergent perspectives inspired two of the biggest environmental justice movements of 2019—Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future”—and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. For her part, Thunberg garnered widespread media attention for linking her global impact to having Asperger’s, an autism-spectrum condition that Thunberg calls her “superpower.” According to Thunberg,…

Zombie Epic: Medicalized Politics on Screen

Erik Larsen // Of all the monsters populating modern culture, zombies have lurched into a dominant position in our television and film. Despite varied examples across media forms, one trait unites these mindless eaters: zombies are distinctly unhealthy. Whether decaying bodies or the hosts for a decimating plague, zombies incarnate our sense of health’s absence,…

Desire I: Desire and the Formulation of Bourgeois Subject

Chia Yu Lien// In this and the following posts, I would like to talk about the concept of desire—more specifically, the desire of the bourgeois subject, or in Lauren Berlant’s words, “capitalist subject” (2007, 779). I am not talking about desire as a primary physiological drive, such as the desire to breathe or to eat,…

Pat-a-caking One’s Way into the World of Blindness

Botsa Katara// “But he wouldnay get his fucking Dysfuckingfunctional Benefit man he would be lucky to get fucking re-registered … and the actual compen was a joke. Nay chance.” (Kelman 248) The epigram belongs to James Kelman’s Booker Prize winning novel, How Late It Was, How Late. Published in 1994, the novel documents the travails…

Reading Neurotica: Or, the Caregiver and Her Heartache

Lauren A. Mitchell //      I am helping a group of medical students learn how to take a comprehensive sexual history with a colleague, inspired by the interview template that Fenway Health in Boston uses.  This interview model expands on the usual “5 Ps of Sexual History Taking” (Pregnancy, Practices, Partners, Past History of…