Call for Submissions at Tendon

Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine

Issue 6: Injury

On April 4, 1968, a suburban homemaker on the South Side of Chicago turned off her electric wringer washer and went next door to dry her laundry. Soon after the woman left the house, her daughter restarted the machine and quickly found herself caught between the rollers. The washer proceeded to crush her arm until her mother returned and “extricated a bloody mess” from the wringer. As this unexceptional case shows, the felt risks, material and social realities, and cultural representation of injuries are central parts of everyday life.

Despite the 200,000 deaths and 55,000,000 serious injuries attributed to accidents across the United States every year, few scholars in the humanities have explored how individuals and communities live with and make meaning out of injuries across time, space, and social contexts. Commonplace but difficult to capture, injuries have inadvertently been pushed to the sidelines of critical discourse and artistic production. How do individuals and communities represent the causes, outcomes, and meanings of injuries? What styles, tools, and media, especially within art and literature, are used to express messages about risk and safety? How do the casualties of injuries experience and bring meaning to physical and mental trauma, recovery, and disability? To what extent do risk and injury change the lives of those who live with them? How do the social determinants of health, especially race, class, age, gender, disability, and geography, configure experiences of injury? And, finally, who does or does not have the authority to define safety and injuries within different interpersonal and structural contexts?

This issue of Tendon calls for submissions breaking down how injuries happen and what they mean across sites, including workplaces, transportation networks, civic spaces, schools, farms, homes, and sites of war. Contributors may consider the following themes:

  • Personal or collective experiences of injury
  • Injury and axes of social difference
  • Literal or metaphorical sites of injuries
  • Aftermaths of injuries from trauma to recovery to disability
  • Injuries and care work
  • Definitions of injury, risk, or safety
  • Work exploring moral injury, burnout, or moral distress
  • Obstacles to communicating about injury
  • Strategies to control injuries and their outcomes
  • Critical perspectives on injury from anthropology, sociology, or history


How To Submit

Tendon will be accepting submissions until June 15, 2023 at In your email, please attach your submission as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf, and include:

  • Name and Pronouns
  • Genre Label: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Critical Perspectives, or Visual Art
  • Author’s Bio (2-4 sentences)
  • Social Media Handle (if any)