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…

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…

The Smile: A Confusing Expression for Every Occasion

James Belarde // “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh One of the biggest smiles I’ve ever flashed came after purposefully having my jaw broken, subsequently facing a six-week period where I couldn’t chew. While this sounds masochistic at…

Bodies in Stone I

Calloway Scott // In an earlier post, I sketched the rise and characteristic features of Hippocratic medicine in the 5th century BCE. There I was interested in the peculiar forms of technical authority the Hippocratic practitioner developed over the bodies of his patients. I noted that the creation of such technical authority created a specific set…

Ancient Medicine, Future Bodies

Calloway Scott // I want to make a case for looking back to the Corpus Hippocraticum—the Hippocratic Corpus—as a valuable site for thinking about the medical humanities and its future. The 60 odd medical treatises which make up the Corpus are really the works of many hands working at different times and places over the course…

Notes from the Frontline: When Death Becomes Routine (Part 1)

David Thomas Peacock // I wasn’t prepared for so much death. Before I became an emergency room nurse, I worked on a neurology unit with stroke patients. I loved that job.  I gained a lot of clinical knowledge from my colleagues, but I learned even more about what it means to be a human faced…

Translating Medicine Part I: Introduction

Roanne Kantor // We’re rounding out the first year at Synapsis. It makes me want to come full circle, to re-approach the very first questions I asked in this venue: about the nature of interdisciplinary research on health and medicine, and the shared language we develop to make that research possible. The thing about this “department…

Medical Interventions, Suddenness and Finding A New Normal

Kristina Fleuty // I have approached most of my posts for Synapsis during this academic year with a view to relating medical and health humanities topics in some way to veterans or the military experience. For my final post this year, I return to Harry Parker’s contemporary novel, Anatomy of a Soldier, aspects of which…