Stanley Milgram, Cinematic Chauvinism, and Psychotherapy: Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter

Shakespeare’s ubiquity makes adaptations of his work uniquely instructive: a critical and staging history of a familiar play creates a backdrop against which to see the vision of a filmmaker at work. 


EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionPsycheSex & Gender

Dilley in Retrospect: Humanitarian Needs Expose Machismo, Part I

While Europe struggles desperately to receive hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, the refugee crisis we have here in the United States is increasing. Thousands of people from Central America (especially from the three “Northern Triangle” countries, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras), many of them mothers with children, many of them children alone, are coming to the United States largely through our southern borders. Although more such people came in 2014 than in any year thus far, in 2016 an even greater number is expected. They come because violent drug-related gangs have taken over in their home countries, where women …

EssaysFeaturePsycheSex & Gender

Sick Bodies, Hysterical Pregnancies, ISIS Wives

Conversion Disorder

I wonder if “conversion disorder” — a classical psychiatric term for the conversion of psyche into soma in the form of psychosomatic issues — could be one way of thinking about the present. Especially with so many patients complaining of bodily symptoms, armed at times with cadres of healers; with so many seeking recourse to pharmacological treatments or bodily modification of various sorts, plastic and otherwise; with young men and women seemingly willing to direct violence at any-body, including themselves, in the name of powerful religious ideals.  Something increasingly insists on the level of the …

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Patriarchy Alive and Well: CDC Releases New Guidelines for Alcohol & Pregnancy

Earlier this week the United States Center for Disease Control (the CDC) released yet more guidelines for women of “reproductive age”. These guidelines take what could be seen as a draconian, or perhaps more bluntly, a misogynous stance of recommending that all women of reproductive age who do not use contraception avoid alcohol altogether. For women, drinking alcohol, as the CDC materials detail, results  in “unintended pregnancy, fertility issues, sexually transmitted diseases, …