Lucid Dreaming: The Unexpected Drawbacks

Manaal Siddiqui // An expansive hall full of laughter, jeers and people running and jumping. Fluorescent lights bounce off the walls. All different colors. Pink, yellow, red, purple. A young woman realizes that she is present amidst the chaos. She feels queasy, not sure how to handle the fact that her family is casting spells…

Book review: Engendering Islands by Ashley M. Williard

Emilie Egger // Williard, Ashley M. Engendering Islands: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Violence in the Early French Caribbean. Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2021. Many of the sources for Ashley M. Williard’s literary analysis in Engendering Islands exist in fragments. Williard’s examination of the sparse and partial traveler’s journals, religious documents, and letters that remain from…

Essential Oils Entrepreneurship and the Dangers of the Patient Narrative

Haejoo Kim // The buzz around essential oils mobilizes two important keywords of today’s mainstream alternative health practices. First and foremost, they are “natural”—“Goodbye Toxins, Hello Nature,” advertises doTERRA, one of the largest essential oil companies currently operating in the US.[1] In the rhetorical universe of many alternative health practices today, nature is a keyword…

Book Review: Narrative Art and the Politics of Health

Steven Rhue //  Narrative Art and the Politics of Health stands out as wonderful collection of essays that unites disparate stories of health and wellbeing entangled with in the politics of medicine and healing. Brooks and Blanchette have carefully organized this assortment of writings in three thematic divisions. Part 1 of the volume concerns institutional narratives that confront…

The Tiger in the Waiting Room–Addressing Moral Stress in Medicine

Jane Desmond, Ph.D. // Is our medical training, medical practice, and our research in the health humanities adequately recognizing and responding to moral stress?  Are some populations, specialties, or jobs within healthcare more likely to experience it? [How] can we imagine future systems of care that alleviate this type of stress among practitioners?

Evening, Myocardial Infarction

Kate Bolton Bonnici // Of what can be felt: how the heart dwells At earth’s door, which is the gate of light Lowering leafèd veils in sequence. Slight Scent traces the familiar and the spell- Bound. What’s not dreamed? A hart swells Near to bursting at dusk’s blood birth: bright Sidereal dust, ventricle touched, twice-sight…

A Model for Humble Commitment in Medicine

Vishesh Jain // Ostensibly, Wintersmith is a novel about witches. It follows young Tiffany Aching as she works as an apprentice and learns how to manage the vast and unexpected responsibilities of witchcraft. The reader, like Tiffany, may expect magic spells and supernatural phenomena to fill her life, but these constitute a fraction of her…

Silent Mournings and the Pandemic Blues: Remembering the Dead

Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo // I’d play on loop Joe Walsh’s “Life of Illusion” as I watched the news for days. For the first couple of months, I became fixated on the body count numbers. I have generally maintained an apoplectic attitude towards death (theoretically), knowing full well that this is one of life’s certainties, we die….