About the Author

Maaike Hommes

E-Mail: Maaike.Hommes@gcsc.uni-giessen.de

Maaike Hommes is a researcher and cultural programmer based in Amsterdam and Giessen, where she is currently pursuing her PhD at the GCSC. She has a broad interest in relationality and critical embodiment. Her dissertation focuses on medically unexplained illness, specifically looking at the problematic encounter between lived experience of the physical symptoms in relation to their unexplained status in medical science. Previously, she published on illness and metaphor, on narrative in relation to the affective body, amongst others for The Dutch Review of Books, and worked in the cultural sector in Amsterdam where she organized events around food culture and the lower senses.

Contributions by Author: Maaike Hommes

Editorial: Illness, Narrated

Stay healthy, stay safe. The new closing remark to many emails, phone calls and conversations is telling of a radical change in the perception of illness that took place during 2020/2021. Living and working through the COVID-19 pandemic have given a new urgency to the commonplace phrase, adding weight to an offhand farewell. This new signature does more than wish the other well; it also acknowledges a communal present that affects everyone, from the individual to national societies and global relations. Health, and its precarious situation, has found its way into people’s homes, where incidences, virologists’ opinions and mutant forms are discussed over dinner. “Stay healthy” indicates our hopes for the other not to be infected; “stay safe” marks our hopes that they keep viral threats at bay. The realities of constantly being on a spectrum of health and illness has intruded on daily life and gone beyond conversations with medical professionals or intimates to become ‘the talk,’ a communal and shared present.