Books

Gitelman’s Paper Knowledge and Kafka’s The Demon of Writing

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents
Duke University Press, 2012, 224 pages

by Lisa Gitelman

 

The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork
Zone Books, 2012, 208 pages

by Ben Kafka

 

Ben Kafka and Lisa Gitelman, colleagues at New York University, have both written books about the intricate nature of paper as a medium. While …

Books

Ilana Lӧwy’s Preventive Strikes

Preventive Strikes
Women, Precancer, and prophylactic Surgery

by Ilana Löwy

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, 344 pages

In April 2014, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified a disturbing correlation between cancer screening and “overtreatment.”   Mammography, it turns out, may result in some women enduring grueling therapies that they do not even need.  In fact, some …

In the Journals

Historical Trauma: a special issue of Transcultural Psychiatry

The latest issue of Transcultural Psychiatry is devoted to the concept of “historical trauma” in studies of Indigenous peoples in North America.  As Laurence J. Kirmayer, Joseph P. Gone, and Joshua Moses argue in their Introduction to the special issue:

“The notions of historical trauma, loss, and grief have drawn attention to the enduring effects of colonization, marginalization, and cultural

Books

Peter Redfield’s Life in Crisis

Life in crisis: The ethical journey of doctors without borders

by Peter Redfield

University of California Press, 2013. 338 pages.

 

“Should we only get involved in beautiful, sexy emergencies or also in hopeless places? Our work is to keep trying amid pessimism” (p. 241). These are the words of a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctor alluding to what Peter …

Features

Petri Dish

The petri dish was made for separation.  It was developed for culturing microorganisms while separating them from airborne contaminates.  As part of its ability to make separations between the contaminated world outside and the uncontaminated world inside, the dish also assisted in separating individuals from disease.  These days, it’s getting harder for petri dishes to maintain these separations.

Julius Richard …