Launching Dósis: medical humanities + social justice

We have launched! Submit to the CFP!

In the United States today, we face a crisis of health. This crisis manifests in many, many ways—from the opioid crisis and infant mortality to issues of access and deep divides about what health means, for whom, and when. Meanwhile, we watch an unfolding narrative of anger from both sides of the political aisles, and destructive arguments over issues which should be unifying, for instance, that hatred and bullying are bad, and inclusiveness and tolerance are good. Every one of us, despite our backgrounds and contexts, trudge into the last third of 2017 fatigued and frustrated. Each of us looks to a future filled with new dangers to the health of our bodies and also of our minds. We must ask ourselves: what can we do? But also: how much can I do, and remain healthy? How, that is, do we fight this present darkness.

Medicine, Aryballos, @LouvreThe ancient Greek word we today translate as “dose” (as in Daily Dose) has a more subtle and unexpected nuance. Transliterated from δόσις, it means both “a giving” and “the portion prescribed.” But it carried with it the intention of a chain reaction of giving—dósis is the motivated giving and responding that creates reciprocity. In our new mission as an online magazine, Dósis seeks to bring this reciprocity to bear on medical humanities and social justice. We cannot address every wrong as individuals, but together, working responsively and in dialogue, we can work for change.

Medical humanities as a field has long struggled to define itself, to decide not only what it is but what it’s for. Dósis will be mission driven: medical humanities + social justice. We are dedicating our platform to exploring the intersection of health, humanities, and social justice  . When in the dark, it is our responsibility bring the light, to shine brightly ourselves, and to honor the light in others. We must eschew hatred, but not by being hateful. We must resist transforming anger into aggression against the vulnerable. We do not need to find common ground with those who oppose us, but we do need to create solid ground beneath ourselves, a platform for joining our voices and make ourselves heard. Each issue, and each article and commentary within it, serves as a single portion, a dose given and, in the giving, received.

To your health.

 

CFP: Pain and its Paradoxes

BMJ Medical Humanities will host a special issue on PAIN in June 2018! We want you to be part of it!

Title: Pain and its Paradoxes
Abstract Deadline: August 1, 2017
Final Submission Deadline: October 1, 2017 (publication date June 2018)

Pain is almost certainly the most common illness experience on the planet.  Yet, it is frequently treated poorly, and those who experience pain often endure skepticism, doubt, and stigma for their condition.  In most places around the world, pain closely tracks social power structures, which means that marginalized groups are both more likely to experience pain, and are more likely to have it regarded dubiously and treated inadequately.

Moreover, while pain is a near-universal part of the human condition, it remains difficult to define and conceptualize.  As Emily Dickinson famously noted, pain has an element of blank.  And while pain and suffering are often experienced together, they remain distinct phenomena: some people in pain do not suffer, and some people who suffer state that they are not in pain.  Pain is an essential pathway to redemption for many, and for others it exists only as a devastating, hollowing experience that defies meaning.  In short, the paradoxes of pain are multiple, varied, and slippery.  While pain has not escaped scholarly attention in the medical and health humanities over the last decade, current and inequitable burdens of global pain alone justify sustained focus and analysis.  Accordingly, the Special Issue of Medical Humanities on “Pain and its Paradoxes” aims to integrate critical and rigorous scholarship (peer reviewed) addressing the lived experiences of pain, past, present, and future.  Specifically, we invite manuscripts on subjects including but not limited to

  • The nature and concept of pain;
  • The history of pain;
  • The phenomenology of pain;
  • Narratives of pain;
  • The relationship between pain and suffering;
  • Pain as an emotional experience (including the history of pain as emotional experience);
  • Pain and anxiety;
  • Pain and sympathy;
  • Pain and grief;
  • Pain and inequalities (race, gender, class, age, disability status, etc.);
  • Pain and disability;
  • Pain and stigma;
  • Pain and pharmaceuticals, including but not limited to opioids

The editors are especially interested in manuscripts considering pain from non-Western contexts.

Interested contributors should send an abstract to EIC Brandy Schillace (bls10@case.edu) and Guest Editor Daniel Goldberg (daniel.goldberg@ucdenver.edu) no later than August 1, 2017. Final submissions should be submitted to the BMJ Medical Humanities online ScholarOne system, choosing the category Special Issue: Pain and it’s Paradoxes by October 1, 2017. All contributions will be subject to rigorous peer review.

Moving on from Election 2016

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Suffrage_universel.pngIf you follow this blog, you know that our primary focus has been health and humanities, the intersection of medicine and social and cultural studies. But today, half the country feels they have swallowed a bitter pill. The other half feel that they’ve been vindicated, perhaps, but all can agree that this has been the most unhealthy election cycle in living memory. I found myself listening to the results in the wee hours, and then reflecting on what this might mean, not only for our nation, but also for our small communities and families. I want to provide here some encouragement, some insight, and we as a forum want to give our readers a sense of solidarity–for we are with you.

To those who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton, I say this. The grief you feel is real and you have a right to it. As with any loss, the anger and shock are feelings that we must work through. But let’s remember that despair and hope are not feelings, but choices. We must work against despair, even at our darkest moments, because despair is paralyzing. We must choose hope, because hope cannot stand without us. But also, while you mourn the loss of a dream, be assured: this was still a historic moment. You voted for the first Continue reading “Moving on from Election 2016”