We can already hear the objections. The term fascism represents an emotionally charged concept in both the political and religious arenas; it is the ugliest expression of life in the 20th century (180). Not my words, but those of Dave Holmes and Stuart Murray in their fabulous paper Deconstructing the evidence-based discourse in health sciences: Truth, power and fascism. The author's argument is that we desperately need to unmask the 'the hidden politics of evidence-based discourse' (181). A recent Australian report on the efficacy of homeopathy (link) has shown that "There was no reliable evidence from research in humans that homeopathy was effective for treating the range of health … [Read more...] about Evidence-based medicine or micro-fascism?
Each day over the next week I'll post up an abstract for a paper being presented by a member of the Critical Physiotherapy Network at the In Sickness and In Health conference in Mallorca in June 2015. (You can find more information on the conference here.) The role of families in paediatric physiotherapy: a critical analysis. By Clarissa A.C: Araujo & Berta Paz Lourido In Spain, the early intervention services are addressed to the health care of children from 0 to 6 years old with developmental disorder or disability, as well as their families. In this study we present part of the results of a broader research project conducted in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) with the aim of … [Read more...] about The role of families in paediatric physiotherapy: a critical analysis
Reading a recent book on Nurses and Midwives in Nazi Germany: The "Euthanasia Programs" by Susan Benedict and Linda Shields reminded me the that there is often a reluctance to research the darker sides to our professional histories. I remember Dave Holmes once telling me that he received some really aggressive and distressing criticism from his colleagues when his paper Killing for the state: The darkest side of American nursing was published. It seems that people within nursing took exception to someone questioning the morality of nurses who made people comfortable on death row in preparation for the electric chair and the lethal injection. In some ways I can understand this kind of … [Read more...] about No pain, no gain
Originally modelled in plastiline clay in the mid-1890s, this version cast in bronze after 1918. Height 42cm Best known for his impressionist painting, sculpture was for Degas mainly a private activity. He thought of his sculptures like sketches or drawings, as a way of developing a composition. 'La Masseuse' is Degas’ only two-figure sculpture. The masseuse massages the thigh of a naked woman, who holds her buttock in relief or pain. The emphasis of 'La Masseuse' on the effects of physical activity on bare female flesh highlights the artists dedication to depicting human, and in particular female, endeavour. Information courtesy of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (link). … [Read more...] about ‘La Masseuse’ by Degas
There has been a lot more interest in the philosophy of touch in recent years. Books like Constance Classen's Book of Touch have raised the bar on scholarship in this area (also see Classen's 'Centre for Sensory Studies' at Concordia Uni). A lot of interest has focused on the meaning of touch; something I've been interested in as a historian and philosopher of physiotherapy (link). Now a new book has been published by OUP that looks really interesting and well worth a read if you are interested in attitudes towards touch over time. Feeling Pleasures: Sense of Touch in Renaissance England Joe Moshenska The sense of touch had a deeply uncertain status in the sixteenth and … [Read more...] about New book – Feeling pleasures: The sense of touch in Renaissance England
“Bring something incomprehensible into the world!” ― Gilles Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Founded in the 1880s by Manhattan rationalists, the 13 Club held a regular dinner on the 13th of each month, seating 13 members at each table deliberately to laugh at superstition. “I have given some attention to popular superstitions, and let me tell you that argument is powerless against them,” founding member Daniel Wolff told journalist Philip Hubert in 1890. “They have a grip upon the imagination that nothing but ridicule will lessen.” As an example he cited the tradition that the mirrors must be removed from a room in which a corpse is lying. “Make the experiment … [Read more...] about I love superstitions – Oscar Wilde (and here's why)
The celebrated New York City street photographer Flo Fox is partially blind, has lung cancer and has been living with multiple sclerosis since the age of 30. In a wheelchair since 1999 and unable to handle her camera on her own, she needs help – from her attendants, friends, even passersby – to take photographs. Amazingly, Fox not only remains humorous and energetic, she has also retained her keen sense for reframing moments, people and places in an endlessly chronicled city, bringing surprising new life to her subjects. Intimately shot with a focus on how Fox navigates the streets of New York City, Riley Cooper’s short documentary was a festival favourite in 2012, taking home … [Read more...] about The remarkable Flo Fox