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…

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…

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…

Metaphor, Medical Decisions and the Military Mindset

Kristina Fleuty // How would you describe what it is like to live with an injured and chronically painful limb? How would you communicate to a medical professional your reasoning for wanting the elective amputation of that limb? I have recently been pondering how people talk about their bodily experiences, both to their friends and…

Speculative bodies of the present in hormonal fictions

Kathryn Cai Recently, a series of English language novels that foreground the female body reimagine and transform their hormonal traffic from biologies linked with environmental illness to speculative imaginations of diffused, inchoate influence and overt physical and political power. As studies note, the female body’s hormonal complexities render its porous interactions with the environment particularly…

Stranger Things: Maternal Body Horror

Daisy Butcher Femininity, flowers and death have long been interconnected in the myths, folktales and stories that have captivated cultures across the globe. In their beauty and delicacy, plants can be a source of joy, but in their poisonous, thorned, or carnivorous aspects, they can also inspire fear. Nowhere are these two registers so diametrically…

Cyborgs Pt. 2: Cellular Agencies in Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea

Kathryn Cai Reviews of Chang-rae Lee’s 2014 novel On Such a Full Sea note its “bureaucratic aesthetic,”[1] its unsatisfactory narrative trajectory in which nothing seems to build, and Fan as an opaque, “monochromatic,”[2] and ultimately unsatisfactory heroine lacking in interiority,[3] particularly compared to the “adventure” heroines, such as Katniss Everdeen, that populate conventional heroic and dystopic…

Apocalypse, Cyborgs, and Gender (Pt. 1)

Kathryn Cai As a recent New York Times article notes, apocalyptic narratives—in the form of natural disasters and conflict with North Korea, for instance—and survivalist responses to it are on the rise in popular US discourses.[1] This tongue-in-cheek article notes that survivalism is gaining traction in young, affluent culture, “where the bombproof bunker has replaced…

Hypochondria and the Struggle for Control

Sneha Mantri One of the best-known literary depictions of hypochondria is Molière’s medical play, Le Malade imaginaire, which is occupied with the struggle for power between Argan, the titular “invalid,” and those who surround him. One reading of Argan focuses on his victimhood, arguing that the character believes so completely in his own illness that…