Archive: Publications

March 2024

Stacy Loeb, Tatiana Sanchez Nolasco, Nataliya Byrne, Laura Allen, Aisha T. Langford, Joseph Ravenell, Scarlett Lin Gomez, Samuel L. Washington, Hala T. Borno, Derek Griffith (new window), and Nickole Criner

January 2024

October 2023

July 2023

Hunter Groninger, Donya Nemati, Cal Cates, Kerry Jordan, Anne Kelemen, Gianna Shipp, Niki Munk


“Syndemics and Clinical Science”

July 21st, 2022

Emily Mendenhall and her co-authors discuss the emergence of syndemics, how epidemics interact, and what scientists, clinicians and policymakers can do with this information.…

Sea and Land An Environmental History of the Caribbean cover

Sea and Land: An Environmental History of the Caribbean

May 13th, 2022

This book, co-authored by John McNeill, Philip J. Morgan, Matthew Mulcahy, and Stuart B. Schwartz, delves into the environment and ecology of the Caribbean, exploring issues concerning natural resources, conservation, epidemiology, and climate.…

Cover of the Journal of Victorian Literature and Culture, volume 27, issue 2, showing painting of red-headed woman playing a string instrument. She wears elegant green dress and the background is a blue wallpaper with flowers

“Outbreak: Contagion and Culture in the Victorian Era: Introduction”

April 26th, 2022

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan and Dr. Kari Nixon introduce the Journal of Victorian Culture’s Rountable on “Outbreak: Contagion and Culture in the Victorian Era”, which asks how the Victorians approached contagion, examining the ways in which it became such a central preoccupation for a society already fixated upon health and illness and the transactions between life and death.…

Cover of Emily Mendenhall's book Unmasked: blue background, drawing of a facemask


March 16th, 2022

In this book, Emily Mendenhall writes about what happened in her hometown, Okoboji, a small Iowan tourist town, when a collective turn from the coronavirus to the economy occurred in the COVID summer of 2020. State political failures, local negotiations among political and public health leaders, and community (dis)belief about the virus resulted in Okoboji being declared a hotspot just before the Independence Day weekend, when an influx of half a million people visit the town.…

Protest in fron of the Supreme Court. The posters on display say: "Reform can't wait" and "Universal healthcare"

“Race, Place, And Structural Racism: A Review Of Health And History In Washington, D.C.”

February 8th, 2022

Dr. Christopher King and his co-authors do a historical review of policies, practices, and events that have sustained systemic racism on the health of the United States. It focuses on Washington, D.C.—a city with a legacy of Black plurality — , while also reflecting on the national landscape, policies and events that socially, economically, and politically disenfranchised Black residents, yielding stark differences in health outcomes among Washington, D.C. populations.…

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep book cover

“Physicians in the Digital Age”

January 15th, 2022

Dr. Daniel Marchalik and Dr. Edward Melnick look at what Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can teach us about AI & medicine.…


Human body made up of sticks and dots, representing its atoms and molecules

“Balancing Act: Precision Medicine and National Security”

December 30th, 2021

James Giordano and Diane DiEuliis describe current scientific and technological developments in precision medicine. They assess the risks of using these tools and capabilities to exert disruptive influence upon human health, economics, social structure, military capabilities and global dimensions of power.…

“Syndemic Theory, Methods, and Data”

December 14th, 2021

Emily Mendenhall, Timothy Newfield and Alexander Tsai introduce an Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine, focused on Rethinking Syndemics through time, space, and method.…

“The Anthropology of Health Systems: A History and Review”

August 13th, 2021

Emily Mendenhall and her co-authors conceptualize the anthropology of health systems as a field; review the history of this body of knowledge; and outline emergent literatures on policymaking, HIV, hospitals, Community Health Workers, health markets, pharmaceuticals, and metrics. They describe high-quality ethnographic work as an excellent way to understand the complex systems that shape health outcomes, which provides a critical vantage point for thinking about global health policy and systems.…

Illustration o the iconic Great Gatsby's eyes wearing gold frame glasses

“The Great Gatsby and the Challenge of Unreliable Narrators”

July 17th, 2021

Dr. Daniel Marchalik and Dr. Matthew W. McCarthy tackle the enduring literary debate on the reliability of Nick Carraway, the narrator of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, to answer the question of how do clinicians balance the importance of believing what patients say with the need to be discerning critics?…

A woman carries a large jug of water through Gado refugee camp

“Introduction: Migration and Health in Social Context”

April 7th, 2021

Emily Mendenhall and Seth M. Holmes introduce the BMJ Global Health journal’s issue on “Migration and Health in Social Context”, focused on the social, political and economic structural factors that impede or facilitate health among the most vulnerable migrants seeking care from clinical settings globally.…

“Towards a Rigorous Understanding of Societal Responses to Climate Change”

March 24th, 2021

The team of researchers that includes Timothy Newfield and Jakob Burnham proposes an interdisciplinary framework for uncovering climate–society interactions that emphasizes the mechanics by which climate change has influenced human history, and the uncertainties of discerning that influence across spatiotemporal scales. …

Graffitti covering map of Washington DC. The graffitti shows the icon of Donald Trump three times, the hair color of the first is yellow, of the second red, and the third green. Under each, the word "lies" is written. Underneath appears the word "Covid!"

“On Symbols and Scripts: The Politics of the American COVID-19 Response”

March 19th, 2021

Emily Mendenhall and her co-authors argue that, to unravel the American COVID-19 crisis —and to craft effective responses—, a more sophisticated understanding of the political culture of public health crises is needed. According to the researchers, the social processes of meaning-making help explain the evolution of increasingly partisan public health discourse regarding topics like masking and institutional trust. They consider how and why certain issues gain political valence, and what opportunities certain acts of politicization provide in shifting public discourse.…

“A Spectrum of (Dis)Belief: Coronavirus Frames in a Rural Midwestern Town in the United States”

February 9th, 2021

Emily Mendenhall and her co-authors investigate how society in rural America reacted to the coronavirus outbreaks of 2020. Without government COVID-19 mandates, conflicting moral beliefs divided American communities. Social fragmentation, based on conflicting values, led to an incomplete pandemic response in the absence of government mandates, opening the floodgates to coronavirus.…

“’Thinking Too Much’: A Systematic Review of the Idiom of Distress in Sub-Saharan Africa”

January 2nd, 2021

In this systematic review, Emily Mendenhall and her co-authors take a look at the idiom “thinking too much”. This idiom is employed in cultural settings worldwide to express feelings of emotional and cognitive disquiet with psychological, physical, and social consequences on people’s well-being and daily functioning. The researchers analyze how, where, and among whom this idiom is used within varied Sub-Saharan African contexts.…


“Professional Attitudes toward the Use of Neuromodulatory Technologies in Mexico: Insight for Neuroethical Considerations of Cultural Diversity”

December 10th, 2020

James Giordano and his co-authors present their research on mental health clinicians’ and researchers’ perceptions and concerns regarding the use of neuromodulatory techniques in Mexico, as compared to those reported in the international literature, and examine if there are also specific local neuroethical, legal, socio-cultural issues relevant to such distinctions or similarities.…

Visual representation of a human figure made up of viruses. There are two text boxes. Top: Sickness in the room was oppressive. Bottom: I found myself thinking about miasma theory

“Medical Humanities in a Pandemic: Essential and Critical”

November 9th, 2020

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan and Dr. Anna Reisman account for the invaluable insights that the humanities offer the biomedical sciences during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a means of examining themselves, their profession, and the broader social context.…

“Past Pandemics and Climate Variability Across the Mediterranean”

September 19th, 2020

Timothy Newfield and his co-authors explore potential associations between pandemic disease and climate in Mediterranean history. They make sense of the influence that meteorological, climatological and environmental factors had on historical disease outbreaks.…

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan, Dr. S. Michelle Ogunwole and Dr. Lisa A. Cooper in a video presentation of their Annals of Internal Medicine article "Historical Insights on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and Racial Disparities: Illuminating a Path Forward".

“Historical Insights on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and Racial Disparities: Illuminating a Path Forward”

September 15th, 2020

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan, Dr. S. Michelle Ogunwole and Dr. Lisa A. Cooper examine the racial health disparities in the historical arc of the 1918 influenza pandemic. This examination provides a understand critical structural inequities and health care gaps that have historically contributed to and continue to compound disparate health outcomes among communities of color.…

“Metabolic Reflections: Blurring the Line between Trauma and Diabetes”

August 24th, 2020

Emily Mendenhall argues for clinical studies of diabetes to recognize the impacts of chronic stress and trauma on metabolism. In her anthropological research, she has identified how lines between trauma and diabetes are blurred and violence and subjugation may irreversibly impact metabolism, even across generations. Thus, changes to diet and exercise alone will not solve the global and local undercurrents of the diabetes epidemic.…

Brain-shaped nebula

“The Emerging Neurobioeconomy: Implications for National Security”

August 19th, 2020

James Giordano and his co-authors examine growth of the neuroscience and neurotechnology market in recent years. They discuss the distinct ethical and security issues posed by neurobioeconomy, provide examples of such issues, and propose a risk assessment and mitigation approach.…

Blindness book cover

“Seeing COVID-19 through José Saramago’s Blindness”

June 20th, 2020

Daniel Marchalik and Dmitriy Petrov propose an approach to the novel Blindness, which would allow us to process the emotional devastation, socioeconomic impacts, and pressures on front-line health-care workers that continue to shape our world.…

“Practicing Serious Illness Conversations in Graduate Medical Education”

June 3rd, 2020

Dr. Michael Pottash and his co-authors address the lack of routine practice opportunities in medical training to have a serious illness conversation, including discussing patients’ expectations, concerns, and preferences regarding an advancing illness. By testing incorporating a serious illness conversation into routine trainee practice, they found that trainees found it to be an important addition to their routine practice. Patients found the conversation to be important, reassuring, and of better quality than their usual visits.…

Brochure of the AHA 2020 Annual Meeting Presidential Address

“Peak Document and the Future of History”

February 3rd, 2020

“Peak Document and the Future of History” was John McNeill’s 2019 presidential address at the AHA annual meeting. In his address, McNeill talked about the use of historical sources that do not come in the written form, but from the natural sciences and archaeology.…


MRIs of the brain

“Mapping the Past, Present, and Future of Brain Research to Navigate Directions, Dangers, and Discourses of Dual-Use”

December 16th, 2019

Working towards the goal of fostering effective biosecurity strategies to include emerging fields like neuroscience and neurotechnology (neuroS/T), James Giordano and Joseph DeFranco identify two general approaches that can be used to monitor brain science research, to facilitate the detection of dual and direct-use biological threats as they relate to advancements in brain sciences.…

Illustration of a young woman lying on the ground (maybe dead), crowd of people staring at her. Footnote: "A Vampyre, A Vampyre"

“Physicians, Oaths, and Vampires”

September 21st, 2019

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan and Dr. Daniel Marchalik analyze John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). They assess the power of oaths, looking at the physicians’ burnout derived from the Hippocratic Oath.…

Rethinking diabetes cover

Rethinking Diabetes

July 15th, 2019

In Rethinking Diabetes, Emily Mendenhall investigates how global and local factors transform how diabetes is perceived, experienced, and embodied from place to place.…

Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

“Physician Burnout in the Modern Era”

March 2nd, 2019

Dr. Daniel Marchalik looks at physicians’ professional stress through a historical lens. By examining different historical moments —from 19th century accounts of the “distinguished success” to “scandalous misconduct” of medical apprentices, to the 1970s advances in our understanding of burnout—, he considers the effects of the new wave of modernization on physicians.…

Pregnant woman being given a routine malaria test from nurse in Tanzania

“Malaria Vaccine Trials in Pregnant Women: An Imperative Without Precedent”

February 4th, 2019

Although pregnant women are highly susceptible to Plasmodium falciparum malaria, leading to substantial maternal, perinatal, and infant mortality, no trials of malaria vaccines have ever been conducted in pregnant women. This publication, co-authored by Maggie Little, resulted from the discussions held at an expert meeting convened in December 2016 at NIAID, NIH, in Rockville, Maryland to deliberate on the rationale and design of malaria vaccine trials in pregnant women.…


The criminal crowd and other writings on mass society cover

The Criminal Crowd and Other Writings on Mass Society

November 8th, 2018

This book, with an introduction and notes by Nicoletta Pireddu, who edited and co-translated it, is the first English collection of writings by Italian jurist, sociologist, cultural and literary critic Scipio Sighele.…

Nurse holding patient's hand

“When We Document End-of-Life Care, Words Still Matter”

September 21st, 2018

Dr. Hunter Groninger and Anne M. Kelemen highlight the findings of the study “Language Used by Health Care Professionals to Describe Dying at an Acute Care Hospital”, and how providers’ discomfort in employing clear, direct terms when talking about dying can have unintended consequences, such as miscommunication, and missed or delayed opportunities to engage in the grieving process.…

Graffiti of the brain

“Looking Ahead: The Importance of Views, Values, and Voices in Neuroethics—Now”

September 10th, 2018

In light of the developments the body-to-head transplant (BHT) in China, which have attracted considerable attention and criticism, Dr. James Giordano reflects about the evermore international enterprise of brain science, and the need for neuroethical discourse to include and appreciate multicultural views, values, and voices.…

Reframing Critical, Literary, and Cultural Theories. Thought on the Edge cover

Reframing Critical, Literary, and Cultural Theories. Thought on the Edge

August 28th, 2018

This book, edited by Nicoletta Pireddu, and with contributors from diverse cultural and scholarly backgrounds and based in three different continents, participates in the ongoing debate about the alleged “death of theory”, proposing new areas of investigation and interpretive possibilities, reopening dialogues with past and present discourses from a plurality of perspectives and locations.…

Bone marrow transplant patient gets a routine checkup

“Post-Transplantation Palliative Care: Misconceptions and Disincentives”

January 15th, 2018

Dr. Michael Pottash argues for the value of providing palliative care to transplant recipients, which faces two major barriers: misconceptions about the goals of palliative care, and the quality care outcome measures that have the unintended consequence of disincentivizing its routine use.…


Better book cover

“The Return to Literature—Making Doctors Matter in the New Era of Medicine”

December 14th, 2017

As medicine faces rapid changes in our current era, which include the widespread use of artificial intelligence, it is also expected for the nature of physicians’ jobs to change, as well as medical education. Dr. Marchalik explores the innovative approach of the Literature and Medicine Track of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and suggests ways in which literature could be used to prepare future doctors for the evolving demands of the medical field.…

Hospital patient holding a heart-shaped plushie

“Failing Better: A New Paradigm of Care”

July 22nd, 2017

Dr. Hunter Groninger introduces a Heart Failure Reviews symposium issue that aims to call attention to the rapidly developing interface between heart failure and palliative care.…

Collage of post-its under the title "Diagnostic tools". The post-its say "There's too much jargon and no one to explain", "Suggestions/consulting leaves me confused", "Internet tools symptom/disease tools scare people, they always think they have the worst/least likely disease", and "Who to go to -correct level, -expertise, -self-service triage"

“Poor Prognostication: Hidden Meanings in Word Choices”

April 21st, 2017

The absence of a standardised language to express prognostic information can be a barrier for providing realistic information to patients and their families. The team of researchers that includes Dr. Michael Pottash and Dr. Hunter Groninger surveyed a random sample of internal medicine attending physicians and residents to better determine perception of word choice related to documentation of patient prognosis and hospice eligibility in the medical record.…


Como esquecer (How to forget) poster

“De-Privatizing Self-Harm: Remembering the Social Self in How to Forget”

July 28th, 2016

Theodora Danylevich reads Malu De Martino’s 2010 film Como Esqueçer (How to Forget) as a case study in self-harm as a mode of expression and self-inquiry. The author argues that How to Forget charts a “crip” epistemology of self-harm and theorizes a “social self.” That is to say, the film models an orientation towards self-harm that offers a coalitional and social therapeutic understanding.…