Features

Cancer Culture avant la lettre

Figure 1. Two views of Clara Jacobi (Netherlands, 1689). U.S. National Library of Medicine
https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101392944-img

In the class I teach on illness narratives, cancer comes after the plague. In the realm of representation and cultural memory, infectious diseases have a long visual and allegorical pedigree. Pestilence is always already more than an epidemiological reality. With cancer culture things are different. …