For the (EH) Record

Jennifer & April Edwell// Patient records have come a long way since the days of notes jotted in physician’s journals. In the bygone era of paper charting, physicians had to flip through files, deciphering scribbled numbers and words, hastily trying to (re)interpret the patient’s past. Medical residents hurried to capture patients’ ever-changing information and provide…

The Complicated History of the Visual Analog Scale: Part 1

Gabi Schaffzin // A few hours after knee surgery, a nurse or doctor might come into your room and ask how you’re feeling. They might show you a scale of 6 faces like this: Maybe a notched line like this: Or, they might show you this line. It will probably have two phrases on it:…

A Few Thoughts on EVE: Danger, Desire, and Reproductive Control

Livia Arndal Woods // The possibility of divorcing reproduction from the maternal body fascinates and haunts the human imagination. The dangers of and desire for such separation – for ectogenesis – has been of particular interest in science fiction. Indeed, the oxforddictionaries.com definition of ectogenesis reads: “(chiefly in science fiction) the development of embryos in…

Theorizing the Web, Theorizing the Body

Gabi Schaffzin // Towards the beginning of her talk at Theorizing the Web 2018, Alanna Reyes asks, “is it possible that we are perpetuating ides about our bodies and our technologies that we use by writing them into our real lives?” The scholar (a PhD in Science Studies & Communication at UC San Diego) goes…

Love in the Time of Science Fiction

Anna Fenton-Hathaway   “I think we’re gonna be surprised by how deeply emotional we’ll [be] . . . with the things that we’re gonna invent, coming soon, the robots and things like that, because we’re gonna program emotion into them. . . . [W]e’re not really ready for how much love we might have for…

The Long Read: Genetic Vulnerability

Sarah E. Roth The Genetics Department at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. displays hundreds of pamphlets in the waiting room, stacked at every corner table. Some of them I recognize, having revised them back in the office. The pamphlets have titles like: What is My Family Tree Telling Me? and PKU and You….

Cyborgs Pt. 2: Cellular Agencies in Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea

Kathryn Cai Reviews of Chang-rae Lee’s 2014 novel On Such a Full Sea note its “bureaucratic aesthetic,”[1] its unsatisfactory narrative trajectory in which nothing seems to build, and Fan as an opaque, “monochromatic,”[2] and ultimately unsatisfactory heroine lacking in interiority,[3] particularly compared to the “adventure” heroines, such as Katniss Everdeen, that populate conventional heroic and dystopic…

Apocalypse, Cyborgs, and Gender (Pt. 1)

Kathryn Cai As a recent New York Times article notes, apocalyptic narratives—in the form of natural disasters and conflict with North Korea, for instance—and survivalist responses to it are on the rise in popular US discourses.[1] This tongue-in-cheek article notes that survivalism is gaining traction in young, affluent culture, “where the bombproof bunker has replaced…