Health on the (newspaper) margins

Madeleine Mant and Johanna Cole // The recent conservation and digitization of prison admission records from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) and its predecessor, the courthouse jail, have made available a rich dataset for historical, sociological, and anthropological research regarding crime and punishment in the long 19th century in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Our research…

Medicine’s martial metaphors: “Fighting the good fight”

Steve Server // In 1977’s Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag offered a prescription for the “most truthful way of regarding illness—and the healthiest way of being ill” (3).  As Sontag noted, some of the ways in which humans make meaning on “the night-side of life” may hamper our ability to suffer in a “healthy” way (3).  “As long…

Dreaming for Survival in The Marrow Thieves

Amala Poli // Métis Canadian writer Cherie Dimaline’s novel set in a dystopian future titled The Marrow Thieves presents a society plagued by troubled sleep. This article examines Dimaline’s work in the context of a “sleep crisis”, which scholar Diletta de Cristofaro defines as “the notion that our modern society chronically struggles with a lack…

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…

Life After Covid-19: Entanglements of Illness and Recovery

Avril Tynan // 2021 began with both good news and bad news. The roll out of the AstraZeneca-Oxford, BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines across the world has brought a glimmer of hope to strained communities and exhausted healthcare workers. At the same time, the rampant spread of new variants has provoked a slew of border closures…

Upon the Arraignment, Condemnation, and Execution of Elizabeth Stile, 1579

Kate Bolton Bonnici // Elizabeth Stile was executed in England for witchcraft in February 1579. In what follows, I consider an anonymous “news of the day” pamphlet about her case, using critical poetry as scholarly method. (This pamphlet is part of a larger genre of 16th/17th-century writing on witchcraft trials.) I concentrate on the description…

Laughter Part 2: Is It Safe To Laugh Yet?

James Belarde // “It seems to me that you can know a man by his laughter, and if from the first encounter you like the laughter of some completely unknown person, you may boldly say that he is a good man.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Notes from A Dead House “A woolly mammoth and a saber-tooth…