Eileen Sperry

The Deathbed: A New Nursing Clio Series

This past fall, when we began work on a Nursing Clio series about death, we never imagined the world would look the way it does today. Early reports of illness in China were limited and, as they often are, written in the confident language of exceptionalism: epidemics happen over there, to other people, in other… Read more →

Plague in the Age of Twitter

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter over the past week. Some evenings, it feels like I can’t help myself. I scroll and refresh, watching as the numbers keep rising: total cases in New York, total cases in the US, restricted travel zones, conferences canceled. Even on their own, the numbers feel unmanageable,… Read more →

Medieval Bodies, Head to Toe

The skeletal diagram in Mansur ibn Ilyas’s fifteenth-century medical text, the Tashrih-i badan-i insan, looks at first glance like it’s been drawn by someone who’s never seen a human body before. The skull is oddly triangular, the jawbone tapering to a sharp point and perched on an over-elongated neck. The script-like scalloping of the clavicle… Read more →