Exit, pursued by a Shark: A Pandemic in Four or More Acts

Emily Waples // Following reports of the President’s coronavirus infection, Twitter was replete with a certain kind of comment, expressing consensus that something—the presidency, the country, the year 2020—had decidedly jumped the shark. A throng of commenters including Dr. Bob Wachter, Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine—who has tweeted copiously about COVID-19 in an…

The Beast Within: Mental Illness in Arto Paasilinna’s The Howling Miller

Avril Tynan // Throughout the nineteenth century, degeneration theory associated certain behaviours and physical and psychological pathologies with a pseudo-Darwinian atavism of primitive traits and characteristics. One need only think of Émile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series, and particularly his 1890 novel La bête humaine (The Beast in Man or The Beast Within), to note the parallels…

Margaret Sanger is Not the Problem

Jessica M Kirwan // This past summer, as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum after the death of George Floyd, organizations across the United States and elsewhere closely examined their own histories of racism and racist membership. Coming to terms with its haunting past, Planned Parenthood decided to distance itself from its founder, Margaret…

Book Review: Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China by Ruth Rogaski

Yaming You // In this book, Ruth Rogaski provides a discursive analysis of the shifting connotation of one single Chinese word—weisheng 卫生  (hygiene/sanitation)—to “place meanings of health, disease at the center of Chinese experiences of modernity” in twentieth-century China (1). As hygiene was transformed from a personal and individual practice into a public and national project of…

A Comparative Book Review—Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology & Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems

Rachel Dudley // This comparative book review reflects my scholarly background as an interdisciplinary, feminist, health humanities thinker, and it brings together two distinct genres of writing.  These genres—medical historiography and poetry—allow readers to grapple with troubling histories of medical exploitation, cultural memory, and meaning-making in very different but equally generative ways.  In relation to…

Coffee With A Colleague

Physician and Poet Michael Barthman Sarah Berry // This interview series features educators, scholars, artists, and healthcare providers whose work is vital to the growth of the health humanities. On Friday, September 4, I interviewed Dr. Barthman about his work as an emergency physician, medical educator, health humanities blogger, and poet. Sarah Berry: Can you…

Transatlantic Antivaccination Campaigns: A Brief History

Samantha Allen Wright // “Will you get the new COVID-19 vaccine? Aren’t you worried about it?” As an enthusiastic supporter of vaccinations (I’m first in line for my university’s yearly flu shot drive), I get many questions from family, friends, and students on my thoughts about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. I answer these questions by…

Covid-19: Reframing Ageing

Anne Fuchs, Desmond O’Neill, Mary Cosgrove, and Julia Langbein // Report on the Interdisciplinary Webinar, University College Dublin, 12 June 2020 Introduction The Covid-19 crisis gave rise to stories of sickness and resilience, unemployment and solidarity, death and hope.  But from among these stories, the discourse on older people has been among the most controversial…