What we talk about when we talk about conversion disorder

Sneha Mantri // This three-part essay is an examination of “nervous illness” as a reaction to the rising tide of rationalist scientific development in Western society, focusing on three distinct periods of technological change. In part 1, I examined the Enlightenment’s increasingly mechanistic view of body and illness; in part 2, I turned to the…

The World We See – Part 6: Art that Moves, in More Ways than One

Lara Boyle // At first glance, Naum Gabo’s Kinetic Construction is nothing special. A thin, motionless steel rod extends from a pit located in the base of a black square. With the push of a button, however, the rod springs to life. The rod wiggles back and forth as a motor beneath the base whirs with…

Embodied Prisons

Sneha Mantri Little Dorrit is, above all, a novel about prisons.  In addition to the literal Marshalsea prison that is home for the Dorrit family in the first half of the novel, we are taken to the Circumlocution Office, a bureaucratic imprisonment of any sort of innovation, and the Clennam house, which Mrs. Clennam never…