Doctor Zoë Wool, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and a leader in Rice's Medical Humanities program, has published a new, multimedia piece for the online scholarly journal, Somatosphere.
Wool's piece, "Homunuculus Revolts: Re-Figuring the Neurological Subject," introduces readers to a curiously persistent figure in medical literature, the "little man in the brain" who represents both the universal structure of the brain and at the same time the violent underside of biomedical research. Wool shows how the insistence on normative bodies both produces and flees from its opposite in the stretched and dismembered visualizations of the brain's relationship to our anatomy as a whole.
Her essay closes with a case study that reminds us of the importance of such representations: an Irish woman who was essentially tortured to death by a physician both fascinated with a tumor in her head and convinced of her biological inferiority.
The article is available online at Somatosphere.org: https://humanities.rice.edu/academics/programs/medical-humanities/faculty-spotlight/zoe-wool