Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: circus

  • Conjoined twins: Art, ethics, and the media

    John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States Conjoined twins have fascinated humans since earliest times. Artists illustrated twins in clay, stone statues, wood carvings, and portraits. They were exhibited on stage, in freak shows, and the circus. The worldwide news media, especially the intrusive television camera, has now replaced the circus as a means of…

  • Enfreakment in the medicalization of difference

    Camille KrollChicago, Illinois, USA Exalted showman P.T. Barnum was thrilled when he discovered Joice Heth, a severely disabled elderly slave woman. In grotesque detail, he assessed the value of his first sideshow acquisition with relish: I was favorably struck with the appearance of the old woman . . . She might almost as well have…