Book Forum — Richard Keller’s Fatal Isolation

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Richard Keller’s Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003 is a careful accounting of the toll the heat wave took on those most vulnerable in the neighborhoods surrounding Paris.  The book is about the shape of vulnerability and its amplification over time — in fact, Fatal Isolation requires us to pause on the ideas of risk, vulnerability, …


Psychiatry After Ferguson

What role should mental health care professionals play in helping heal psychical wounds exposed in the aftermath of Ferguson and New York?

This question lies at the heart of calls that emerged from within psychiatry, psychology, social work, and other mental health professions over the weeks since grand jury deliberations ended, and protests began, in cities across the country. Professional …


Book Forum––Sameena Mulla’s “The Violence of Care”

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From rape as a tool of terror in situations of war and armed-conflict, to the largely unchecked epidemic of sexual assault on and off college campuses, “rape” finds its way into our collective political and social (and popular and legal and cultural and aesthetic) consciousness.  In a study that is exhaustive, intimate, and exacting, Sameena Mulla’s The Violence of Care:


Alexander Etkind’s Warped Mourning

Warped Mourning: Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied

by Alexander Etkind

Stanford University Press, 2013; 328 pages.


Scholars of social and cultural memory in the post-Soviet space are well aware of the Memory at War project—the international collaborative effort to understand battles over memory as they were waged in postsocialist Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Accidents and myths

What role do accidents play in determining our lives and histories? What, even, is an accident? How does something come to be thought of as “accidental”? This month’s Web Roundup features stories on accidents and their aftermath.

Starting us off, Slate has an excellent article about Phineas Gage, the most famous patient of neurosurgery ever. For those who don’t …

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