Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: deaf

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: music and medicine

    Michael Yafi Chaden Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Beethoven home and surrounding area. Photos by Michael Yafi. December 2020 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The causes of the composer’s deafness and his death at the age of fifty-six have remained unknown, even after an autopsy carried out soon…

  • “Moonlight” and silence

    Anne JacobsonOak Park, Illinois, United States At seventeen, I knew little about the limitations or losses that might cause a person to second-guess a vocation, deeply held belief, or identity. Perhaps those questions about the unknowable future inhabit the soul of a teenager under the guise of general angst and anxiety, or alternatively are tamped…

  • Sign Gene: The first deaf superhero film

    Paul DakinNorth London, United Kingdom If the superhero genre really is “about transformation, about identity, about difference,”1 then the description can readily be applied to Sign Gene, the world’s first deaf superhero film. Written and directed by Emilio Insolera, who was born deaf to deaf parents, this “unlikely cult classic”2 is a sci-fi thriller in…

  • “Super” heroes: Special powers in deaf characters

    Paul DakinLondon, United Kingdom In 2012 Marvel Comics produced a cover featuring New Hampshire Senator Lou D’Allesandro’s four-year-old grandson Anthony as Blue Ear, a superhero wearing a hearing aid. Anthony refused the prosthetic because superheroes did not wear them. His mother contacted the company hoping to find an inspirational example and received the specially-created artwork…

  • New life

    Hannah JoynerTakoma Park, Maryland, United States At first I thought I had a sinus infection, expecting to come home with a course of antibiotics. The doctor initially agreed, but when he heard my account of facial numbness spreading around my left eye, he referred me immediately to a neurologist, who sent me for an emergency…

  • Dr. Arrieta and Francisco Goya

    William StringerLos Angeles, California, United States Francisco Goya (1746-1828) was a deaf Spanish painter who almost died of a severe, unknown illness in 1819.1 He painted this self-portrait in 1820 to illustrate the kind and attentive care provided by Dr. Arrieta.2 In Goya’s younger years as a court painter, he created light and airy scenes…