Tag Archives: 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 […]

Enfreakment in the medicalization of difference

Camille Kroll Chicago, Illinois, USA   An advertisement for the Barnum and Bailey circus, of which P.T. Barnum was a cofounder Credit: Wellcome Collection License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions Exalted showman P.T. Barnum was thrilled when he discovered Joice Heth, a severely disabled elderly slave woman. In grotesque detail, he […]