“They’re Saying This Over Me”: Neutralizing the (White) Doctor’s Gaze

Marcus Mosley //  My mother tells me that in a New York hospital in 1994, there were two distinct sections in the maternity ward. One section consisted of “white ladies” having normal babies, and the other side, unofficially labeled the “reject section,” consisted of mostly black women from the nearby prison having not normal babies….

‘Your Body Is a Temple’: A Social Justice Take on an Old Health Paradigm

Marcus Mosley // At the last session of the Tuskegee Negro Conference in 1914, Booker T. Washington spoke out about distressing recent statistics that said “45 percent of all deaths among Negroes were preventable; there are 450,000 Negroes seriously ill all the time; the annual cost of the illness is 75 million dollars; that sickness…

Monstrous and Mindful Births: Policing the Pregnant Imagination

Aristotle’s Master-Piece, or The Secrets of Generation, was first published in 1684 and quickly became the most popular medical book about “sex and babies” from its publication through the 19th century (Fissell 114). The frontispiece in many editions of this text depicts a black infant and woman covered in hair, alongside a description: “The Effgies…

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…

The “Criminal Mind”: Discourses of Mental Health and Crime Part 1

Abigail Jane Mack Everything happens for the first time, but in a way that is eternal. -Jorge Luis Borges “We are as we think,” Stanton Samenow writes, concluding Inside the Criminal Mind.[1] The text, now in its third edition, outlines a theory of criminality, which has had enormous though often overlooked impact on psychiatric and…