Somatosphere

  • Somatosphere: the first 15 years. Dörte Bemme in conversation with Eugene Raikhel


    Dörte Bemme: Tell me a little bit about Somatosphere’s origin story. How did it all begin? Eugene Raikhel: The website was launched in the middle of 2008, but the important broader context is that this was a time when there was a flourishing blogosphere in anthropology and related fields. There was a lot of activity…

    View article: Somatosphere: the first 15 years. Dörte Bemme in conversation with Eugene Raikhel

Somatosphere is a collaborative website covering the intersections of medical anthropology, medical sociology, history of science and medicine, science and technology studies, and cultural psychiatry.

Featured articles

  • AI Job Displacement: Perspectives on the Future of Work From Beneath the Silicon Ceiling


    Following a day-long, company-wide “workplace culture” workshop for a Silicon Valley startup that creates and oversees mental health care chatbots (pseudonym: The Startup), I find myself sitting on an upholstered bench tucked into an out-of-the-way corner of a WeWork in Northern California. I’m an anthropologist of artificial intelligence conducting participant observation research at The Startup,…

    View article: AI Job Displacement: Perspectives on the Future of Work From Beneath the Silicon Ceiling
  • Vital Circulations and Circuits: Reflections around vitality and the biopolitical regulation of its flows


    Most of us probably feel well-schooled in the nature of respiratory viruses after a blistering global pandemic and frequent news items of the latest outbreak of another strain of COVID-19 or influenza. For many, a headache, a sneeze, or a new and persistent cough directs our attention within and across the circulations that simultaneously sustain…

    View article: Vital Circulations and Circuits: Reflections around vitality and the biopolitical regulation of its flows
  • Book Review: Planetary Health and Artificial Intelligence


    Ways of Being. Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence , by James Bridle (Penguin Books, 2023) If you read the cover of James Bridle’s book, you might think it is just another essay on the ontological turn or multispecies ethnography. But James Bridle is not a philosopher or an anthropologist analyzing alternative…

    View article: Book Review: Planetary Health and Artificial Intelligence
  • Introduction: Book Forum on ‘The Doctor Who Wasn’t There’ and ‘The Distance Cure’


    In this forum, five scholars from different but intersecting fields of historical research engage with Hannah Zeavin and Jeremy Greene’s recent books on telehealth and telemedicine. As all of the contributors highlight, Zeavin and Greene’s books provide inspiring analyses of the potentials and limitations of electronic technologies in medicine and healthcare. In the following, I…

    View article: Introduction: Book Forum on ‘The Doctor Who Wasn’t There’ and ‘The Distance Cure’
  • Learning from the History of Experimental Telehealth


    The increased demand for distant cures amid heightened concerns about infection in healthcare facilities, coupled with the “great resignation” in medicine since the COVID pandemic, have together created the unfortunate circumstances in which we find the American healthcare system in 2024. This is a moment, like many we have seen before, in which new, unproven…

    View article: Learning from the History of Experimental Telehealth
  • Via media: power and ideology in tele-therapy


    The Distance Cure and The Doctor Who Wasn’t There are political books about medical media. Zeavin offers illuminating analyses of a range of distant psychotherapies: epistolary analysis, telephonic church services, suicide crisis telephone hotlines, computer-based therapies, and e-therapy (what Zeavin calls “therapeutic written speech”). For her, the media involved in these therapies are “active metaphors…

    View article: Via media: power and ideology in tele-therapy
  • Medicine at a Distance


    “all new media deal in futures” -Jeremy Greene “automation is the dream of autonomy” -Hannah Zeavin It was at once an odd experience and an exhilarating one. Sitting at the edge of the sofa, I leaned over towards the coffee table to turn on my laptop and open the required application. I waited, intermittently checking…

    View article: Medicine at a Distance

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