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Lectures

The Significance of Covid-19 as Crisis

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What is the significance of COVID-19? The honest response is that I don’t know which, however, does not prevent me from thinking that it has something crucial to tell us. COVID-19 is both real and global and yet it manifests itself allegorically and unevenly. Some get sick, others die, and a growing few turn off and deny. COVID-19 is a …

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Lectures

Not on the Beach, or Death in Bondi?

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Sydney’s Bondi Beach in January 2012. Photo: Alex Proimos

As sometimes happens in Sydney in late March, toward the end of summer, that particular Friday was brilliantly hot and sunny, drawing crowds to the eastern beaches, especially Bondi. An exceptionally large stretch of sand, an outspread stage in a natural amphitheater, popular with backpackers and other foreign visitors, the beach …

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Features

Book Forum – Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary

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A quarter-century after it was written, Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus reads both as a vital document of a particular moment in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and as a wonderfully spare account of the banal humiliations and little triumphs of hospitalization in the shadow of a then-terminal illness.  Republished with a luminous Introduction by David Caron and a wide-ranging and

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Books Features

A Reply

I am very grateful for the wealth of these reviews. It is very rewarding! To sum up briefly, On Hysteria is a study of the formation of a medical category, hysteria, in the course of the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries. Tracing the transformations of the category during this period and asking what was at stake in the formation of …

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Books Features

Hysteria, Genre, and the Physician-Writer

With her book on hysteria, Sabine Arnaud offers an innovative approach in studying comparative literature and the history of science. She examines the “forms of enunciation” that allowed doctors and fellow travelers first to express and then to crystallize medical thinking around a new medical category. In her words, enunciation constitutes those “conceptual choices that make the construction of knowledge …

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Books Features

Medicine, the age of sensibility, and sociable knowledge

What strikes me most when I read books about subjects that do not relate directly to my field of inquiry is the surprising wealth of cultural common ground that disciplines, nowadays separate, once shared. I am a musicologist with a main interest in aesthetics and eighteenth-century studies, and Sabine Arnaud’s book On Hysteria rings hundreds of familiar bells in my …

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