Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: dancing

  • “All hands to dance and skylark!” – Shipboard dancing in the British Navy

    Richard de GrijsSydney, Australia “We were all hearty seamen, no cold did we fear;And we have from all sickness entirely kept clear;Thanks be to the Captain he has proved so good;Amongst all the Islands to give us fresh food.”1,2– William Perry, surgeon’s mate on H.M.S. Resolution, 1775 Lieutenant James Cook (1728–1779) is known as a…

  • Dancing with spiders: tarantellas and tarantism

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “There are always hysterical people undergoing extraordinary cures.” – Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man Etching of people dancing the tarantella and playing music as an antidote to a tarantula bite. Wellcome Collection. Public domain.   The industrial city of Taranto is in the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. The Romans called…

  • Depiction of defecation in the works of Pieter Bruegel

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Civilization rests upon two things – the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation.”—Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels The life of the peasant in the sixteenth century was hard. There were wars of religion, war taxes, and Spanish troops occupied the Lowlands. Peasants also had the usual…

  • Four Women Dancing

    The urge to move to music is universal. Dancing represents an essential part of human culture, and acts as a social unifier, increasing cohesion in a group. Collective effervescence, a concept created by sociologist Émile Durkheim, is what sits at the heart of dancing and gives it its unifying power. A more unified community is…