Diagnosis: What’s Wrong with Us

Sneha Mantri // Netflix’s newest original series, Diagnosis, dropped on August 16, 2019. Each of the seven episodes is touted as a “medical mystery” to be solved through crowdsourcing. The concept is intriguing: harness the global reach of the internet to connect patients, families, and physicians, all working in concert to solve a complex case….

Turning to the Structural in the Health Humanities

Gabi Schaffzin // I remember being at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in 2014 when Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe gave one of the keynotes. The Yale-educated former investment banker was explaining how the healthcare related portfolio that she had managed in her past life actually profited from people getting sick; she…

Lisa Halliday’s “Asymmetry”: A Misreading

Anna Fenton-Hathaway Despite its title, Asymmetry comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. – Alice Gregory, New York Times review (2018) Gregory’s phrase “shocking coda”—and her “seemingly,” I suppose—has ruined me for this book. I am reading like a doctor.

Metaphors in Medicine

Charlene Kotei Communication is one of humanity’s oldest and most sophisticated technologies. Narrative is an integral part of the day-to-day transmission of ideas between people. In the medical world, technological and scientific advances have likewise made tremendous advances. And yet, the medical field still lacks the key to success: the effective interpretation of narrative. To…

Indigenous Poetics and Narrative Medicine

What exactly is narrative medicine, and how is it different from the work of humanities scholars who investigate medical topics? With this problem in mind, I set out to explore the roots of narrative medicine–not in academic medical schools, but in North American indigenous practices of healing through ritual storytelling. In our moment, narrative medicine…