Review: Cesarean Sections & Risk: Ongoing Evolution of a Procedure

John A. Carranza // On September 19, 2019, the website Motherly posted an article entitled “These Birth Photos Prove How Beautiful Clear Drape C-Sections Can Be.” Heather Marcoux, the author,  explained what “gentle cesarean sections” are and how they have come to transform the cesarean section procedure in contemporary medicine. Previously, the operation included physicians…

Exploring the experience of illness through creative practice

Jac Saorsa, Artist-in-Residence // In my first post for Synapsis, I would like to introduce an ongoing project, Drawing Women’s Cancer, which I began in 2012. The timing is particularly appropriate as,  just last week (and here you must forgive my shameless self-promotion!) my book entitled Like Any Other Woman: The Lived Experience of Gynaecological…

Ukugula Kwabantu: A Call to Expand the Understanding of Mental Health

Sinethemba Makanya // South African morbidity data show that mental disorders are the third highest contributor to the local burden of disease, after HIV and other infectious diseases (1). The rise in the number of people in South Africa with mental disorders highlights the growing burdens of mental illness that the country faces. Yet despite…

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Health ✪ Part 1

Sarah L. Berry // Keep your politics out of my uterus. I can’t breathe. My Body, My Choice. Current social justice movements proclaim that not all bodies are free in the twenty-first-century United States. Demonstrators use public spaces to stage die-ins, march on Washington, D.C. and state capitols, and gather support over social media. Founded…

How can HIV-positive women be good mothers?

Sasheenie Moodley // We are told that a “good mother” is the trope of a mother who is loving and nurturing (Chess, 1982; Mercer, 1985). She prioritises and protects her infant. This mother has a good relationship with her “happy” infant (Benedek, 1959). It is a good mother’s job to understand her child’s behaviour and…

Zen, Mindfulness, and Therapies for Men Who Abuse Intimate Partners

Chuka Nestor Emezue// Content warning: domestic violence. In a 2012 article, Ashleigh Owens, then a J.D. Candidate at Fordham Law, shared the following story pieced together from local media publications: “On January 17, 2010, in West Haven, Connecticut, Selami Ozdemir murdered his wife, Shengyl Rasim, in front of their two children. Ozdemir then used the…

Five Decades of “Semiotic” Fetal Imagery in the US: Part 1

Emilie Egger // In July 2019, Dr. Leana Wen resigned from her post as president of Planned Parenthood, citing philosophical differences with her former employer. In an op-ed published in The New York Times published days after her resignation, she summarized their differences as medicine versus politics. “I have long believed that the most effective…

Galvanism in 19th Century French Theater: Bringing Dead Words Back to Life

Pauline Picot // Have you ever felt galvanized? Surely you must have—if we consider the meaning that is nowadays assigned to this verb, which is to “shock or excite (someone) into taking action”[1]. But have you ever felt galvanized in an electrical sense, according to the original meaning of the word? The term comes from…

The Risks We Take: How to Talk About Risk Today

Dr. Brian J. Troth // Is risky behavior exciting and sexy? If we believe this to be true, then what happens when risk becomes harder to define, harder to pinpoint? In the year 2019, the risk of becoming HIV-positive is more mitigated than ever before thanks to a revolutionary preventative approach called PrEP. Critical regard…