Features

Cancer Culture avant la lettre

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. A cursory search for early modern images of cancer in the U.S. National Library of …

Books

Sharon Batt’s Health Advocacy Inc. How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement

Health Advocacy Inc. How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement

Sharon Batt

UBC Press, 2017, 383 pages

 

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, Sharon Batt became of the one the most prominent figures of the grassroots breast cancer movement that flourished in North America during the 1990s. A committed journalist and editor working mainly for feminist …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Grand Not-So-Unified Theory of Birth Control Side-Effects

Recently, a number of news outlets reported the results of a new research study on the correlation between hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer. The study analyzed data from several Danish national health registers, following 1.8 million women between 15 and 49 years of age. Previous studies of breast-cancer risk among women who use hormonal contraceptives reported inconsistent findings – from

BooksFeatures

‘Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us’ / a conversation with Lochlann Jain

9780520276574In the Stanford Hospital car park, there is a sign that reads “WARNING: This garage contains gasoline and diesel engine exhaust which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity.” The paradox is deadly – one runs the risk of developing cancer on their way to cancer treatment. The sign blatantly highlights the starting point …

Books

Julie Livingston’s Improvising Medicine

Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic

by Julie Livingston

Duke University Press, 2012

 

Julie Livingston’s Improvising Medicine is a lucid, poignant, and devastating book about the stakes of a growing cancer epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa that is trailing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This ethnography takes place mainly on the recently established oncology ward of Princess …