Meanings of Empathy for a Politics of Care

Erica Cao // It wasn’t until the 1900s that psychologist Edward Titchener translated the German word, “einfühlung,” from a concept of aesthetics into the English word, “empathy,” of human understanding that we know today. The relatively recent birth of the word seems to be gaining ever more use in popular discourse. In the wake of…

Utera-Net as a Means to Revolt

Swati Joshi // The word ornament brings to mind the image of an entity that is stereotypically designated for “embellishment” (Rosenbauer 1947, 222). While analyzing ornaments as beautifying agents, we recall the inseparability of beauty and gaze, and that the object of beauty (whether human or non-human) surrenders to the gaze of the observer. The…

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…

The Photograph: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Strong Black Woman Myth

Phyllisa Deroze // It is not that Black women have not been and are not strong; it is simply that this is only part of our story, a dimension, just as the suffering is another dimension one that had been most unnoticed and unattended to. bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black[1] Stella Meghie’s…

The Murky History of Colonizing Near Water

Theodora Christopher // In 1854, John Snow presented his theory that the rapid spread of cholera in London was due to the local water supply.[1] This was the first scientific documentation of a waterborne disease.[2] Research has since shown that illnesses such as botulism, dysentery, and typhoid are waterborne diseases, and that contaminated water can…

The Science of Judging a Book by its Cover

Brent Arehart // There is a famous anecdote about Hippocrates told by Arabic authors. One day, Hippocrates’ students gathered to discuss whether anyone else was more virtuous than their master. When they could not think of any obvious candidates, one student got a clever idea. He proposed that they acquire a picture of Hippocrates and…

Stepping up to the challenge: Kerala’s response to the coronavirus

Amala Poli // The state of Kerala in India, recognized in 2018 for effectively containing the deadly Nipah virus outbreak, has reported four deaths since the outbreak of the COVID-19, despite a population of 35 million people. Being the state with India’s first reported COVID-positive patient, instead of being the hardest-hit region, Kerala holds the…

Better to Protect than Regret

Better to Protect than Regret: What Syphilis Campaigns Can Teach Us About Combating the Coronavirus Jessica M. E. Kirwan // In 1917, an incurable bacterial disease had infected an estimated 10% of England’s cities.1 It spread through sexual intercourse, then slowly attacked multiple organs of the body until causing a painful death. Little was known…