Tag: surgery

The Eye at War: American Eye Prosthetics During the World Wars

In December 1943 Colonel Derrick Vail, ophthalmologist and consultant to the Army Medical Department in Europe, wrote in a memo: “There is a critical shortage of artificial eye supply.”1 Vail was referring to the shortage of optical glass traditionally used in the manufacture of prosthetic eyes in wartime. During the Second World War the United… Read more →

Renée Zellweger, Isabelle Dinoire, and the Stakes for Changing the Face

On October 20, 2014, Renée Zellweger attended the Elle Women in Hollywood event, her first appearance in the public eye after a long hiatus. She looked different; people do, over time. Most people do; some work very hard to continue to look exactly the same. Zellweger’s face was exhaustively discussed, dissected, and criticized in the… Read more →

“The Torture Began”: Symphysiotomy and Obstetric Violence in Modern Ireland

“They just took me into the ward and put me on the bed and told me they were going to do some little job … ‘you’ll be very sore, and your legs will be tied together,’ [said the doctor]. And by God, it’s a thing you’ll never forget the rest of your life.”1 Twenty-one-year old… Read more →

Female Circumcision, Clitoridectomy, and American Culture

In the United States, female circumcision (the removal of the clitoral hood) and clitoridectomy (the removal of the external nub of the clitoris) are nearly always regarded as practices that happen someplace else. When their presence within the United States is acknowledged, these procedures are positioned as having come from the outside, as originating with immigrants from… Read more →