Temporary Hospitals

As the field hospital NHS Nightingale opens at the ExCeL centre in London, Marie Allitt considers a wartime precedent for temporary spaces of caregiving.

Sick: A Memoir

What hope is there for healing when the medical establishment views not your symptoms, but you yourself as the problem? Christy Zink reviews Sick: A Memoir (2018), Porochista Khakpour’s uncompromising account of her struggle

Finding A Medieval Friend

In these difficult times, many are struggling to engage with academic work. The global hardship of this pandemic— especially for vulnerable people such as the homeless, those with disabilities, those with unsafe home environments, and also because of institutional variance in how far employees are being cared for— seems to necessitate an explicitly personal approach to any writing that happens during this time.

Compassionomics

A powerful call-to-action limited by its inability to adequately define ‘compassion’: Lara Ronan, MD, reviews “Compassiononomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring makes a Difference” by Stephen Trezaciak and Anthony Mazzerelli (2019).

Blood Donation Policy, Activism and the Un/‘Official’ HIV/AIDS Record

Benjamin Weil explores the history of blood donor activism in the UK.

Resurrecting the Present

Is it possible to address the AIDS pandemic without recourse to metaphor? Yes, argues Mícheál McCann, citing the ‘admirable ordinariness’ of Marie Howe’s 1997 collections of poems ‘What the Living Do’.

AIDS and humour after protease inhibitors

What is the role of humour in a genre shaped by loss and mourning? Anna Ferrari explores John Weir’s semi-autobiographical 2006 novel, ‘What I did Wrong’.

(Re)turning to AIDS in Queer Young Adult Fiction

In the age of PrEP and U=U, why does queer young adult fiction remain nostalgic for early AIDS narratives? asks Gabriel Duckels, Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar at the Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at the University of Cambridge.

Building a UK HIV/AIDS Graphic Ephemera Archive

Siân Cook, a Graphic Designer and Senior Lecturer at the London College of Communication (UAL), has been involved with HIV/AIDS organisations and activism for over 25 years. She runs the resource www.hivgraphiccommunication.com, a historic visual archive of promotional campaigns and graphic ephemera.

HIV/AIDS in the 21st Century

Guest editors José Saleiro Gomes, Louisa Hann, and Stian Kristensen, convenors of the Manchester HIV Humanities: HIV/AIDS Research Group, introduce a week-long HIV Humanities takeover of The Polyphony.

‘Working with Video Gamers and Games in Therapy’: Book Review

Beata Gubacsi reviews Anthony M. Bean’s Working with Video Gamers and Games in Therapy (Routledge, 2018). Anthony M. Bean, as “psychologically minded video gamer” (6), reflects on the disparity between, on one hand, the

Queer Identity and Survivorship: Navigating Gynaecological Cancer

Elizabeth Coleman argues that it is time to queer the gynaecological cancer narrative. There are no narratives on queer women and gynaecological cancer. This is what I discovered as I trawled the internet looking

COVID-19: A Perspective for the Arts and Humanities

The world is reeling from the shock of the proliferation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to Coronavirus Disease 2019, better known as COVID-19 (WHO, CDC-US, WHO-Europe)…

#CompulsiveCharcoal

Liz Atkin is a visual artist, educator, and mental health advocate. Her work, which has recently been acquired by Wellcome Collection, explores the lived experience of compulsive skin-picking, a body-focused repetitive behaviour disorder. Fiona Johnstone, visual culture editor at The Polyphony, visited Atkin in her studio in south London.

Chronicity and Crisis

Alex Morden Osborne reflects on Chronicity and Crisis: Time in the Medical Humanities, a collaborative conference held jointly by Montclair State University’s Medical Humanities Program and the Waiting Times project, held at Montclair State, October 25-26, 2019.

At the Heart of Identity

Laura Donald discusses the heart and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research 3rd Congress, Sheffield, 23rd-24th January 2020.

ON STRIKE

To mark the ongoing industrial action, we revisit Felicity Callard’s article (orginally published on The Polyphony in November 2019) on labour, exhaustion, and the physical and institutional bodies engaged in the present dispute.

Anne Boyer’s “The Undying” (3/3)

The Polyphony invited Agnes Arnold-Forster and Will Viney to review Anne Boyer’s cancer memoir, The Undying (2019), and to respond to each other’s reviews. Their reviews were published earlier this week; their responses to each other are below.

Anne Boyer’s “The Undying” (2/3)

The Polyphony asked two readers, Agnes Arnold-Forster (Research and Engagement Fellow, Surgery and Emotion, University of Roehampton) and Will Viney (Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, UoL), to review Anne Boyer’s highly-publicised 2019 cancer memoir “The Undying”, and to respond to each other’s reviews. In this second of a three-part series, Will Viney considers Boyer’s text in the context of recent developments in ‘personalised’ cancer care.

Anne Boyer’s “The Undying” (1/2)

The Polyphony asked two readers, Agnes Arnold-Forster (Research and Engagement Fellow, Surgery and Emotion, University of Roehampton) and Will Viney (Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, UoL), to review Anne Boyer’s highly-publicised 2019 cancer memoir “The Undying”, and to respond to each other’s reviews. In this first of a three-part series, Agnes Arnold-Forster discovers a text that explores poverty, politics and the provision of healthcare, and offers a critique of individualised illness narratives.

Dangerous Contagions: Desire, Infection, Misogyny

Uncle Vanya, Ghosts and When the Crows Visit There is a long history of contagion as a metaphor for the proliferation of desire in theatre. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Benvolio advises Romeo to

Middle English Mouths

Hope Doherty reviews Katie L. Walter’s book “Middle English Mouths: Late Medieval, Religious and Literary Traditions” (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Being Human – Haunting Our Bodies workshop

Graphic medicine provides insight into the complex issues around health, society and relationships. The ‘Haunting Our Bodies’ workshop as part of the Being Human Festival, led by Chase Ledin and Garry MacLaughlin, allowed participants to explore this and have a go at creating their own artwork.

‘Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry’: Book Review

Tehseen Noorani reviews Wiremu NiaNia, Allister Bush and David Epston’s Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy: Tātaihono – Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry (Routledge, 2017). Māori cultural therapist Wiremu NiaNia and Pākehā [settler of European

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Remembering

Working across the humanities-science divide: Raphael Lyne and Jon Simons on an interdisciplinary approach to remembering   Raphael Lyne, Professor of Renaissance Literature in the Faculty of English at Cambridge, has been working with