“A Hallowed Institution”: The Bordel Militaire de Campagne (Mobile Field Brothels) and the Making of Military Prostitution in France Following World War One

Reflecting on the French system of military prostitution known as Bordels Militaires de Campagne (BMC, Mobile Field Brothels) during the First World War, Dr. Léon Bizard wrote in his memoirs (1925): It was a mêlée, a hard, dangerous, and disgusting business. Fifty, sixty, up to a hundred men of all colors and races to relieve…

Humanizing Black Patients

Misconceptions and Fallacies on Race and Medical Treatment The Health Humanities is the study of the intersection of health and humanistic disciplines (such as philosophy, religion, literature)  fine arts, as well as social science research that gives insight to the human condition (such as history, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.)* The Health Humanities use methods…

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…

Already Quarantined: Yes, the “Spanish” Flu was Racist Too

Salvador Herrera // After the outbreak of racialized violence against Asian communities across the world, President Donald Trump, his staff, and supporters maintained that calling the COVID-19 disease “the Chinese virus” is harmless and has nothing to do with race.[1] Their willful ignorance attributes the phrase to the supposed source of the virus. However, the…

Attentional Avoidance: America’s “War” on COVID-19 and Narco-Terrorism

Salvador Herrera // In a White House press briefing on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, the Trump administration and the Coronavirus Task Force announced their “enhanced counter-narcotics operations” under U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).[1] Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump explained that these measures would include a doubling of USSOUTHCOM’s capabilities to surveil, disrupt, and seize drugs shipped overseas from…

Skin Deep: Biometrics and Containment in Sabrina Vourvoulias’s INK

Salvador Herrera // On October 22nd, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice proposed a rule titled “DNA-Sample Collection From Immigration Detainees.”[1] The rule would remove one Obama-era exception in the Code of Federal Regulations to the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005: an exception that dismisses DNA collection as a requirement if institutional funds are limited.[2]…

A Rhetorical Shift in Television Representations of Medicine

Amala Poli // A noticeable discursive turn in attitudes toward the medical enterprise has captured different television and talk shows. A recent Netflix show Diagnosis, already reviewed in Synapsis, is a documentary take on medical mysteries that are crowd-sourced for various diagnoses, inviting the participation of experts and patients alike in solving what appear to…

Existential Research Notes, Or Pregnancy in the News

Livia Arndal Woods // For the better part of the past decade, my scholarship has focused on representations of pregnancy in the Victorian novel. This focus has often resonated with 21st century pregnancy narratives, and I’ve written about that. I’ve written less about the ways in which my scholarship has resonated with my lived experience…

“bodies mutilated for the nation”: Reproductive Rights and Women of Color Across Time

Sydnee Wagner and Alicia Andrzejewski // “Colonizers want land, but indigenous bodies forming nations are in the way because they form a strong attachment to land and because they replicate indigeneity…[the colonizers] see Indigenous women’s and girls’ bodies as the bodies that reproduce nations”—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Introduction Our title’s opening quote, “bodies mutilated for the…