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 case shows, the risks, material and social realities, and representations 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 called for submissions diving into how injuries happen and what they mean across sites. From homes and workplaces to sites of war, contributors use poetics, narrative, and multimedia arts to explore individual and collective experiences, temporalities, and meanings of injury in our contemporary world.

Edited by
Iro Filippaki

Sarah Roth
Alex Parry
SJ Zanolini
Alise Leiboff
Hannah Davidson
Sarah El Halabi

Table of Contents:

Take Care
Shiwei Zhou

What did you understand?
e. irem az

First Night Home
Gabriel Pulido

House Party
Helen Lacey

Three Poems
Dorothea Naouai

What happened, in pantoum
Samantha Stewart

aweed nyoka

Two Poems
Ellen Zhang

Upward Mobility Pains
Kelly O’Donnell

Three Poems
Kristin LaFollette

Creative Nonfiction
Alexandra Kaul

The New St. Louis Arch
Maya Sorini