Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Michel Foucault

  • Wet nursing: A historical perspective

    Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta A Russian wet nurse, c. 1913. Painted by Frederic de Haenen public domain via Wikimedia. Wet nursing, a form of breastfeeding provided by someone other than an infant’s biological mother,1 has a long and sometimes controversial history. Death in childbirth, a mother’s illness, as well as cultural habits and circumstance have…

  • 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…

  • Seeing things differently: A reflection on clinical photography

    Michaela ClarkCape Town, South Africa Looking into the face of a patient is a necessary part of the clinical experience. Yet despite the physical proximity achieved in the doctor’s office, on the operating table, or in the petri dish, it is only when patients are perceived as legible objects that their bodies can be impartially…