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. …

Books

Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye’s Lissa

This article is part of the series:

Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution

Written by Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye

Illustrated by Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer

Lettering by Marc Parenteau

University of Toronto Press, 2017. 304 pages.

 

For several years many anthropologists have engaged in questions about the possibilities of a graphic anthropology. “Graphic,” here specifically references comics and graphic narratives and …

Features

Book Forum – Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary

This article is part of the series:
436-cancelliere-2700x1800

A quarter-century after it was written, Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus reads both as a vital document of a particular moment in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and as a wonderfully spare account of the banal humiliations and little triumphs of hospitalization in the shadow of a then-terminal illness.  Republished with a luminous Introduction by David Caron and a wide-ranging and

Features

Not Getting Closure: Reflecting on the Vindication of Gaetan Dugas

Now drowned in the torrent of post-election analysis, on October 26, 2016, the journal Nature published a study which traced genomic data in an effort to map the spread of HIV in North America. The newsworthy conclusion of the study was a full-throated scientific vindication of Gaetan Dugas, the man erroneously dubbed “Patient Zero” in Randy Shilts’ And the Band

Features

Where Has SARS Gone? The Strange Case of the Disappearing Coronavirus

This article is part of the series:

The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China’s Guangdong Province in the winter of 2002 was an exemplary spillover event: it marked the passage of a lethal pathogen from nonhuman to human animals and was widely heralded as the first “plague” of the twenty-first century. The SARS coronavirus seemed to burst out of nowhere and demonstrated …

Features

After the End of Disease: Rethinking the Epidemic Narrative

This article is part of the series:

In conversations with people living with polio in Hungary, I often encountered members of the tight-knit community referring to themselves as “dinosaurs”. We are a breed that is about to die out, they said. Nobody gets polio anymore, some added, and they were right – epidemics, even sporadic wild polio cases disappeared from the country in the 1960s. Their words …