The Then and There of Transmasculine Pregnancy

The first epigraph above is taken from the climactic scene in Thomas Middleton’s play, More Dissemblers Besides Women (1614), in which a Page swoons and calls out for a midwife after rigorous dancing lessons. Cinquepace, the speaker, assumes a miracle, an upside-down world, a strange case, and that a woman must have impregnated the Page—all of which allow for the possibility a young man could be pregnant (5.2.224-29). The audience has more insight into this moment, however. In the first scene of the play, Lactantio recognizes the Page as a former lover in disguise, and the Page informs Lactantio they are “with child” (1.2.142). (Because the Page is given no names other than Page or Antonio in the play, I refer to them throughout this piece with they/them pronouns). Over the course of More Dissemblers Besides Women, the Page waits in vain for Lactantio to marry them, while the other characters perceive the Page as “sweet a breasted page as ever lay at his master’s feet in a truckle-bed” (1.4.100-3). Even after the Page goes into labor, Cinquepace is none the wiser and exits the stage “supporting the Page” (1069).

Does Nature Always Heal? Perspectives from a Naturalist with Tuberculosis

Jessica Kirwan // Despite periods of poor health, and despite many moves, Emily Shore always kept loyal to her interest in the study of nature, and her talents as a naturalist did not diminish as her health worsened. In fact, she became increasingly interested in how her body’s response to the natural world improved her…

Heureusement

Sneha Mantri // In April 2009, France Alzheimer, a national organization created to “soutenir les malades et leur famille” (“support patients and their families”) released an advertisement entitled “Heureusement” (“Fortunately”).  The commercial, developed by the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi Paris, stirred up a minor controversy in France due to its bleak and unrelenting portrayal…

Veterans, Transition and Bodily Identity

Kristina Fleuty // I wonder, does engaging in writing practices offer any health benefits specifically to the veteran population? Furthermore, if there is evidence of health benefits; does any of this evidence offer insight into how the individual comes to terms with their changing bodily and psychological identity during the transition process? I would like…

On Interdisciplinarity; or, a Response

Travis Chi Wing Lau // Following my review of Sari Altschuler’s The Medical Imagination, I wanted to continue thinking through larger questions about our interdisciplinary field and what it does. My post today responds to a recent article by Peter Salovey published in Scientific American’s June 2018 issue: “We Should Teach All Students, in Every…

A Few Thoughts on EVE: Danger, Desire, and Reproductive Control

Livia Arndal Woods // The possibility of divorcing reproduction from the maternal body fascinates and haunts the human imagination. The dangers of and desire for such separation – for ectogenesis – has been of particular interest in science fiction. Indeed, the oxforddictionaries.com definition of ectogenesis reads: “(chiefly in science fiction) the development of embryos in…

Feminine Pain: Review of “Literature and Medicine,” Part 2

Cynthia Harris // This is my second post inspired by the articles in the recent issue of the literary journal “Literature and Medicine.” In her article “Authenticity and Fashionable Disease in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Jessica Monaghan quotes Lady Dainty, a character in Colley Cibber’s The Double Gallant or, the Sick Lady’s Cure: “tis betraying our [female]…

Introducing Synapsis

Dear Readers, Thank you! Editing, producing, designing (and reading!) this journal has been exceptionally gratifying. We are thankful for the bright and bold writers who each week step out of the confines of their traditional disciplines. We are thankful for being introduced to new ideas, artistic works and academic texts. And we are thankful for…

The Politics of Outing and AIDS Activism in the 1980s

  John A. Carranza // “Archibald Anson Gidde, a prominent San Francisco realtor and social leader, died Tuesday at his home in Sea Cliff after a bout with liver cancer. He was 42./Mr. Gidde was a witty and flamboyant figure who distinguished himself by spearheading some of the City’s most notable real estate transactions…/A member…

A social and scientific history of hormones

Kathryn Cai // In her forthcoming book Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything (June 2018), Randi Hutter Epstein faces a daunting challenge in charting the history of hormonal science from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century United States. Beginning with the freak shows of the 1890s, which Epstein…