Lectures

homunculus Revolts: Re-Figuring the Neurological Subject

Figuring a Grotesque Norm

 1954 Homunculus: Penfield Archives, Osler Library of the History of Medicine
 This hand drawn illustration rendered in black ink shows two mirror image outlines of cross sections of the cerebral cortex comprised of segmented lines each of which is labeled with the part of the body to which that part of the brain corresponds. Curving around the surface of each outline are the sensory (on the left) and motor (on the right) homunculi, distorted nude human figures with elongated feet, massive hands, massive faces with huge lips and mouth separated from their bodies, and various parts of the alimentary system represented below the chin. The sensory homunculus also has a scrotum and uncircumcised penis beneath its feet. The heads of each seem to have shorn hair, and musculature and features coded as male. 1954 Homunculus: Penfield Archives, Osler Library of the History of Medicine
This hand drawn illustration rendered in black ink shows two mirror image outlines of cross sections of the cerebral cortex comprised of segmented lines each of which is labeled with the part of the body to which that part of the brain corresponds. Curving around
Features

‘A bit of a compromise’: Coming to terms with an emergency caesarean section

This article is part of the series:

During the midwife-hosted antenatal class Cath attended in a private hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, where she would eventually give birth, pregnant women were encouraged to name the kind of birth they wanted. They were presented with three options: “natural all the way with no medication”, “natural but open to medication”, or “elective caesarean”. The ‘choice’ women were expected …

BooksFeatures

David S. Jones’s “Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care”

broken-hearts-coverBroken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care

by David S. Jones

The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013, 336 pages.

 

My first encounter with David S. Jones’ Broken Hearts was in April of 2016. I had packed it in my carry-on luggage as on-plane entertainment while traveling to Minneapolis, MN for the eighty-ninth annual meeting of the American Association …

Features

How the Face Became an Organ

On July 3 of this year, the face became an “organ”. Changes to US Federal health policy came into effect, moving face transplantation into the jurisdiction of medical procedures governed and administrated by the agencies that oversee the US national transplant system – the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). This policy …

Features

Cut

I barely slept the night before my first day of fieldwork in the OR. As a kid I had accompanied my brother to the emergency room and watched a surgeon remove shards of glass from his lower legs. The removal wasn’t bad. But when the suturing began, I got dry mouthed and over-warm and nearly fell out of my plastic …

Books

Alexander Edmonds’ Pretty Modern

Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil

by Alexander Edmonds

Duke University Press, 2010, 321pp
$24.95 paperback

 

In Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil, Alexander Edmonds situates plastic surgery within the medical, economic and psychological landscape of consumer capitalism in modern Brazil, unveiling a specific and intriguing socio-medical discourse of the “right to …