Tag Archives: Disability

Two tales of talipes equinovarus

Christopher Walker Bielsko-Biala, Poland   Operations for club-foot. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0 Congenital talipes equinovarus, better known as clubfoot, is a poorly understood but surprisingly common medical condition. According to Ansar et al, it affects about one in one thousand newborns, though this figure varies by country.1 There is a roughly fifty-fifty split […]

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 […]

Red right hand: ectrodactyly as a metaphor

Erin Crouch Katelyn McDonald Tacoma, Washington   ECTRODACTYLY, by Katelyn McDonald. At left, the hand bones of an individual with typical development. At right, an example of ectrodactyly, with underdeveloped or missing phalanges and metacarpals. Artwork sourced directly from the artist. December 30th 2017 (Artwork in private collection of the artist). Hands make us human. We lend […]

Queer and unked: disability, monstrosity, and George Eliot’s ‘Sympathy’

Christina Lee Kent, United Kingdom   Silas finds Eppie. Eliot, George. The Jenson Society, NY. In The Mill on the Floss, the intellectual and sensitive Philip Wakem, who has a curved spine from a fall in infancy, is called “a queer fellow, a humpback, and the son of a rogue.”1([II.vi]) In the manuscript Philip Wakem is branded […]

New life

Hannah Joyner Takoma Park, Maryland, USA    Photography by dierk schaefer 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 […]