December 15, 2015 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

How do I tell my health care provider about a pain that I can’t name? How are symptoms experienced when they emerge from a part of the body for which most sufferers literally have no words? These questions framed my fieldwork with women who experienced vulvar pain (vulvodynia); women for whom vaginal penetrative sex, sitting down for extended periods, and wearing jeans were intolerable activities, and for whom the words vulva and labia were rendered unavailable by their socially disruptive nature. While my primary orientation toward these patients was medical, it was impossible for me to ignore the ways that language—and (lack of) access