Review: The Undying

Josh Franklin // Review of Anne Boyer. The Undying. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. The Undying is a powerful memoir by poet Anne Boyer, describing her diagnosis of breast cancer and her subsequent treatment. Boyer struggles against the narrative confines of the illness experience as conventional and medicalized, writing, “I do not want to tell the…

(Un)fashionable Illness

Lesley Thulin // When VICE Magazine published a fashion spread that depicted reenactments of famous women writers’ suicides in its 2013 Women in Fiction issue, it was met with outrage. Some critics described “Last Words” as “almost breathtakingly tasteless,” while others chalked it up to “slouching indifference and sloppiness.” VICE’s own last words on the…

Synapsis in Paris: Is an anachronical approach to medico-literary history possible?

Benjamin Gagnon Chainey // As part of the latest CHCI Alliance Medical Humanities Summer School, held last June at the Columbia Global Center in Paris, I presented a paper entitled “Towards a transhistorical medico-literary deconstruction of empathy,” where I conducted a comparative analysis of the bodily, linguistic and epistemological tensions between the concept of “experience”…

The Great Millennial Depression?

Claire Litt//           The post-World War II babies of the 1950s were the teenagers and young adults who brought about the cultural and sexual revolutions of the 1960s. Theirs was a generation of optimism and change; they fainted during Beatles concerts, demanded contraception and held feminist protests. Restrained only by the hemline…

Synapsis in Paris: Allegories in Exit West

Sneha Mantri // In this post, I want to reframe and expand on the provocations I presented at the CHCI medical humanities conference this year. The bulk of my talk was an analysis of Mohsin Hamid’s 2017 novel Exit West,[1] through the lens of medical education and practice. As a physician and educator, I’m deeply…

Synapsis in Paris: Field Notes: How to be Generative

Darian Goldin Stahl, Artist-in-Residence // Field Notes: How to be Generative Silk, wax, toner, and multimedia 4″ x 4″ 2019 Field Notes: How to be Generative is an artist’s book made in response to the “Book as Body” Artist’s Book Atelier, conducted by myself and Reader of Medical Humanities Stella Bolaki at the CHCI Paris…

Synapsis in Paris: “A Hundred Times More Dangerous than Terrorism”

Rising eco-conciousness in India and some thoughts on comparison Roanne Kantor // In what follows, I want to first extend the few scattered thoughts I presented at the CHCI conference in Paris about the shift in eco-conscious rhetoric that I observed in various sites in North India when I returned there for the first time…

Medicine in the Archive: Exploring Feminism and Nursing

John A. Carranza // Being a historian comes with no better rite of passage than to enter the archive. Regardless of the time period or topic chosen by the researcher, sorting through the documents is exciting for me because I am able to engage in an imaginative and interpretative exercise where I consider why a…

Bodies in Stone III

Calloway Scott // In the previous post, I concentrated on the dedication of “anatomical ex-votos” within the healing sanctuaries of the Greek god Asklepios. These more-or-less realistic coroplastic representations of body parts were offered to the god of healing (as well as other divinities like Apollo and Aphrodite) as offerings of thanks for successful cures….