Graphic Medicine: Life Writing and Comics from Biography

In Graphic Medicine, the new monograph from the Biography quarterly, comics artists and scholars of life writing, literature, and comics explore the lived experience of illness and disability through original texts, images, and the dynamic interplay between the two.

The essays and autobiographical comics in this collection respond to the medical humanities’ call for different perceptions and representations of illness and disability than those found in conventional medical discourse. The collection expands and troubles our understanding of the relationships between patients and doctors, nurses, social workers, caregivers, and family members, considering such encounters in terms of cultural context, language, gender, class, and ethnicity. By treating illness and disability as an experience of fundamentally changed living, rather than a separate narrative episode organized by treatment, recovery, and a return to “normal life,” Graphic Medicine asks what it means to give and receive care.

During the past decade, graphic medicine comics have proliferated—an outpouring accelerated recently by the greatest health crisis in a century. Here, guest editors Erin La Cour and Anna Poletti discuss the collection.


University of Hawai‘i Press: Tell us how this special issue came together.

La Cour and Poletti: The idea for the special issue came from the Amsterdam Comics Conference in 2018, where there were a number of papers that explored graphic medicine. We became interested in bringing scholars and artists together to think about how the discourse of graphic medicine had developed and what future directions it might move in. We wanted to create an opportunity for interdisciplinary and intergenerational conversations about narratives of illness and disability in comics form, as well as consider what the limits of graphic medicine might be.

The final page of John Miers’s comic “Conflict Compromise?: An Imagined Conversation with John Hicklenton and Lindsay Cooper about Living with Multiple Sclerosis” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 25–38
The final page of John Miers’s comic “Conflict Compromise?: An Imagined Conversation with John Hicklenton and Lindsay Cooper about Living with Multiple Sclerosis” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 25–38

UHP: In the introduction, you pose the questions, “What can lifewriting scholars add to the burgeoning interest in life writing in comics form, and how might this new field of interest provoke lifewriting scholars to think differently about life writing?” How do you think this collection might provide an answer?

Editors: Our hope is that the special issue answers these questions by demonstrating that practitioners who reflect on their creative work are some of the most important theorists of graphic medicine’s potential uses and limitations. We also think that the investment in graphic medicine as a way of intervening in how medicine is practiced provides life writing scholars with fresh challenges in terms of thinking about how life writing is used, and the kinds of stakes people and institutions have in personal storytelling.

“Frame of Mind #1” by Nancy K. Miller in her essay “‘Is This Recover?’: Chronicity and Closure in Graphic Illness Memoir” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 53–70


“Frame of Mind #1” by Nancy K. Miller in her essay “‘Is This Recover?’: Chronicity and Closure in Graphic Illness Memoir” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 53–70

UHP: The cover features the work of Grant Gronewold, whose work does not “seek to translate the experience of chronic illness” but offers the “opportunity to learn the language” the artist developed to describe his world. Why did you choose to feature Gronewold on the cover, and how does this image serve as an entry to the collection?

Editors: We chose to commission an original image from Grant because of his highly developed symbolism: his images reward close attention and repeated viewing. We believe his work powerfully demonstrates that comics can (and do) communicate something of the experience of illness and disability that prose or poetry cannot. The way he places the figure in a landscape alongside objects of medical treatment (the giant scalpel, the bag of “patient clothes”) registers the social and political position of someone who is ill very evocatively and, we think, signals the thought-provoking nature of the comics and articles the special issue contains.

 “Disability Daily Drawn: A Comics Collaboration” by JoAnn Purcell in collaboration with Simone Purcell Randmaa in Graphic Medicine, pp. 97–115
“Disability Daily Drawn: A Comics Collaboration” by JoAnn Purcell in collaboration with Simone Purcell Randmaa in Graphic Medicine, pp. 97–115

UHP: What was the most challenging thing about creating this collection?

Editors: Without doubt, the pandemic. We had originally planned to bring all our contributors together for a physical meeting where the pieces would be workshopped, and we had to move that online. Our contributors were generous and flexible in finding other ways to read and respond to each other’s work.

Final page of Safdar Ahmed’s “Graphic Confessions and the Vulnerability Hangover from Hell” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 133–146
Final page of Safdar Ahmed’s “Graphic Confessions and the Vulnerability Hangover from Hell” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 133–146

 

UHP:  Since its publication, how has the response been?

Editors: We are getting lots of positive feedback about how beautiful the book is. A number of colleagues have commented on how much they like the range of contributions and the critical perspective the contributors bring to graphic medicine in terms of ethics and aesthetics.

UHP:  How do you hope to see this collection exist in your field and the wider community?

Editors: Our hope is that some of the graphic medicine programs in medical schools might adopt the collection so that health communicators and doctors can continue to reflect on their role as readers and distributors of life writing about illness and disability.

Cover of Graphic Medicine the Manoa Journal Volume 32 Issue (2020)
Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 44, nos. 2 & 3, 2021

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Buy the book today with code GMED30 for 30% off, valid until Dec. 31, 2022

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Read Graphic Medicine on Project MUSE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Special Issue: Celebrating 60+ Issues of U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal

A new digital-only special issue from U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal is now available free to readers on Project MUSE. 

“Celebrating 60+ Issues of U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal centers on three themes that often appear in the journal: mobility, storytelling, and activism. The journal is the world’s oldest periodical devoted to the study of gender and Japan and was founded in 1988 by Japanese feminists who were educated in the United States.

The issue brings together seven previously published articles of significance, which:

  • Profiles women from diverse backgrounds who worked abroad during different historical moments and changed how people in Japan, the United States, and France regarded each other 
  • Explores how cancer disrupts women’s life courses and relationships, including the first English translation of Ogino Anna’s quasi-autobiographical short story, “Nue / 鵺”
  • Analyzes the prevalent images of sweets and desserts in shōjo manga in how they symbolize power relationships and essentialize girls
  • Investigates the online feminist movement #KuToo, which disclosed exploitative workplace and political cultures and empowered women to try to change them

“All of these seven articles explain that, due to laws, social conventions, business practices, and other factors, women have faced different choices in work and family and different access to education, jobs, and politics than people of other genders. They show how women have coped with public and personal traumas, initiated movements for change and equality, and formed communities. They account for diversity among Japanese women and dispel stereotypes. They capture accounts omitted from historical records,” writes Alisa Freedman in the special issue’s introduction.

Alisa Freedman served as the the journal’s editor-in-chief from 2016-2022, is a professor of Japanese literature, cultural studies, and gender at the University of Oregon, and author of several books. She dedicates the commemorative issue to the journals’ previous editors: Drs. Yoko Kawashima, Noriko Mizuta, Sally A. Hastings, and Jan Bardsley.

Read the commemorative issue free on Project MUSE here.

New Journal Issues: Water as a Symbol of the Great Dao, #KeepOurLanguagesStrong + More

 

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (JSEALS)

Papers from the 30th Conference of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society: Special Publication (2021)

The new issue is introduced by Editor in Chief Mark Alves, who states:

The volume contains 21 papers in total: five papers on historical linguistics, eleven papers on syntax and/or morphology, and five papers on phonetics/phonology. The languages covered in this volume are spoken in throughout the greater Southeast Asian region: Mainland Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia, Southern China, and the Indian Subcontinent. The papers range from detailed descriptions of linguistic aspects of understudied languages to probing questions related to multiple groups of languages in the region.

Find more research articles and reviews at eVols.

Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal – CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

SPECIAL ISSUE:
Student and Community Abstracts
Guest Editor: May Kealoha, PhD
Co-Editor: Jillian Inouye, PhD, FAAN

Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal cover

This special issue will feature abstracts of papers from students and/or community members who are interested in disseminating new knowledge and practices for Asian and Pacific Islanders. 

Please submit your abstracts in the format of formal papers. The format should contain these or other approved headings of:  Introduction, Problem/Significance of Topic, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Recommendations  all relative to Asian/Pacific Islanders and nursing and health. Papers should be one to two pages in length and will be peer reviewed. For this special issue, we are particularly interested in the following but not limited to topics that are:

  • Culturally specific
  • Focuses on equity and diversity
  • Pilot studies
  • Evidence based practice projects
  • Description of community programs
  • Suggestions for policy changes to improve health/education for Asian and Pacific Islanders
  • Other related topics 

Original and empirical pilot studies using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods are welcome. Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal is the only journal focused specifically on health and health care of and for this group. This journal publishes peer-reviewed articles that include, but are not limited to: 

  • Methods, interventions, instrumentation, and educational techniques that are unique to this group. 
  • Theoretical foundations that increase understanding of the unique response to changes in health and illness. 
  • Bio psychosocial, spiritual, and ecological impacts on practice, education, and research.
  • Policy issues as a result of rigorous research outcomes. 

Author Guidelines

All submitted papers must be written in English and contain only original work, which has not been published by or is currently under review at another journal (electronic or print). Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal rules governing the formatting of the final submission can be found at: 

Manuscript Preparation Guidelines https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/apin/styleguide.html

All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/apin/

For more detailed guidelines, go to https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/apin/policies.html

The authors must select as “Special Issue” when they reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process. 

All papers will be peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers. Requests for additional information should be addressed to the guest editors. 

For more detailed, go to https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/university-press/

Article Processing Charge

There is no charge for submitting a paper to Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Upon acceptance of your manuscript, you will be charged a one-time Article Processing Charge of $100 for first author members; first author student members $80; and nonmember rates would be $150

Editorial Contact Information

Contact the guest editor with queries about appropriate topics or works in progress for the special issue: 

May Kealoha, PhD, MPHKapi’olani Community College Nursing Department.
Email:  kealohab@hawaii.edu 
Jillian Inouye, PhD, FAANEmeritus Professor, University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine.
Email: jinouye@hawaii.edu


Contact the editor with questions about the manuscript submission process: 

Jillian Inouye Editor in Chief

Email: jinouye@hawaii.edu

Growing Organic Fruit and Vegetables at Home

The Small Food Garden
Fresh food straight from the garden—it’s got to be good for you. No matter what size your outdoor space, you can plant, grow, and harvest fresh organic produce using the information in The Small Food Garden: Growing Organic Fruit and Vegetables at Home, by Diana Anthony. Included are vegetables, herbs, and fruit, with tips on planting, growing, and caring for each plant. Investigate the options: look at containers, grow bags, raised beds, and window boxes. Discover what to plant where and how to provide water and nutrients to ensure you grow healthy, productive fruit and vegetables.

September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3731-0 / $19.99 (PAPER)

Learn about Power Foods and Enter to Win a Free Copy of Eat Smart, Stay Well

Eat Smart, Stay WellWhether you are looking for help with a particular medical condition or to maximize your intake of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals for optimum health, this is a reference book you cannot be without.

Many of us know the importance of eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. But less well known are the specific beneficial health properties of individual plants. Plant foods are powerful—they can lower your blood pressure, improve brain function, protect against certain cancers, repair nerve damage . . . the key is knowing which plants pack the most punch. Eat Smart, Stay Well, by Susanna Lyle, contains:

• Information on 115 readily available edible plants that will support and strenghten your health and wellbeing;
• Detailed analysis of what is in the plants and their specific benefits for a range of health issues;
• Recipe suggestions, which accompany many of the entries, and tables listing plants by specific health benefits for easy reference.

April 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3593-4 / $19.95 (PAPER)

From April 25 to May 16, enter to win a free copy of Eat Smart, Stay Well at goodreads.com!