Health & Medicine

Colonialism and the Plague in Manchuria

William C. Summers— Historical discourse on the development of non-Western countries is overwhelmingly framed in terms of colonialism and its aftermath. This is especially true in the case of medicine and public health. The role and conception of health and sickness have been invoked as central to both modernization and

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Racial Health Disparities in America

Michelle A. Gourdine— In 2012, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old boy dressed in a hoodie, carrying a bag of Skittles and iced tea while walking through a neighborhood where he “didn’t belong,” was approached and eventually shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a resident on “neighborhood watch.” Like so many African

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Pandemics and Farming Practices

John M. Marzluff— Charles Darwin started his treatise on natural selection by reminding readers of how human action has transformed domestic animals. Domestication occurs because artificial selection imposed by humans causes exceptionally rapid evolution. The domestic animals we house in agricultural settings also provide a new theater for the development

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Turning Hardship into Healthier Eating

John M. Marzluff— Crises that we face have the power to bring good from evil. As dust storms ravaged the Midwest in the 1930s, farmers embraced the new science of soil conservation. In the aftermath of 9/11, nations enhanced their airport security. How living through the COVID-19 pandemic might forever

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Racism and Malaria

Frank M. Snowden— Perhaps the most sinister aspect of the Fascist antimalarial campaign in the Pontine Marshes was its integration into an overarching scheme to transform Italy into a racial utopia as well as a sanitary one. The newly reclaimed Pontine Marshes became the testing ground for a program to

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Infants and Language Learning

Marek Kohn— Amnesia inclines us to assume that entry into language is painless, as does the apparent ease with which children typically become speakers. But many if not most skills require struggle to acquire, even if they seem effortless once mastered. We take language to be one of the most

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Because You Just Can’t Stop Reading the News

We get it. It’s tough to unplug from the current news cycle. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into topics around COVID-19 and beyond, we’ve got you covered (with a little bonus on the power of solitude snuck in just because). A “brilliant and sobering” (Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal)

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Crisis Musings on the Constitutional Revolution

Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn— Recently a United States Senator, reflecting on the terrible crisis we all now face, recalled an earlier time when the nation confronted an existential threat to its governing institutions. Said Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts: “I do think there’s an FDR moment.” Presumably what he meant was

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“Hunker” Is a Verb

Bill Vitek— As a philosopher and educator, and currently without students or courses to teach, I ponder and write about this moment with my stock-and-trade academic training, but also as a parent, spouse, brother, friend, and neighbor. I can report that currently all in my immediate orbit are reasonably safe

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Sovereignty in a Public Health Crisis

Don Herzog— Who should buy ventilators, N-95 masks, PPE, and more? “Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work,” complained President Trump. “The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”

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