Understanding race in a pandemic

Sasheenie Moodley // Dr. Ebony Hilton explains that there is a painful intersection between the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. That is, pandemic and protest are part of the same disease thread—racial prejudice and racial adversity. Dr. Ebony Hilton is an anesthesiologist and associate professor at the University…

Proust in Pandemic: Part II

Catherine Parker // Proust and Medicine Prior to undertaking the project to read In Search of Lost Time in the coronavirus era, the only biographical fact I knew about Proust was that he insisted on completing his landmark novel in the cocoon of a cork-lined room—an idiosyncratic signature—but perhaps one that would have resonated in…

Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Narrative Medicine and Radical Empathy

Sayantani DasGupta, Author // Ibraim Nascimento, Painter // There is a rupture in higher education and in that rupture is an opportunity. As novelist Arundhati Roy (2020) has written, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway…

Diabetes, Music, and Meaning Making

John A. Carranza //  “There’s days I wanna close my eyes and never wake up to my numbers high / Just lay there until all I read is low / I’m sick as shit of all these pricks / And everybody’s ignorance…” So goes the refrain to the song “Double Arrows Down” by the punk…

The Art of Dissection

Jac Saorsa: Artist-in residence// (The following is an extract from my PhD in creative writing. A work in progress!) Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things We murder to dissect. Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with…

Health histories from watery places: Seafaring bodies in the labour archive

Madeleine Mant // In the basement of an unassuming building on the Memorial University campus in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, lies the Maritime History Archive (MHA), curating the employment records of Britain’s Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen (RGSS). Approximately 75% of all surviving logbooks and Agreements from 1857 to 1942 and 1951 to…

Rethinking the Language of Cancer Diagnosis

Steffi Mac // Recently, I was introduced to a young doctor who had survived cancer and who is now working on Covid-19 duty. I wanted to interview her in order to present her narrative in my online initiative for cancer survivors, The Marrow Story. I was also trying to understand the health care system of…

Already Quarantined: Yes, the “Spanish” Flu was Racist Too

Salvador Herrera // After the outbreak of racialized violence against Asian communities across the world, President Donald Trump, his staff, and supporters maintained that calling the COVID-19 disease “the Chinese virus” is harmless and has nothing to do with race.[1] Their willful ignorance attributes the phrase to the supposed source of the virus. However, the…

Contagious Exhibits: Curating the Plague

Diana Novaceanu // The exhibit In Time of Plague: Five Centuries of Infectious Disease in the Visual Arts opened in January 1988 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It aimed to showcase both the “changing conventions” of illness representation and the ways in which artists dealt with “the gradual emergence of…