Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice

Margrit Shildrick speaks at Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice

Margrit Shildrick, Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at Linköping University, spoke at the Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice on 5th July 2016, on the topic:

Margrit Shildrick

Rethinking prostheses: technologies, boundaries and embodiment

In the era of postmodernity, issues of bodies and technologies increasingly challenge not only the normative performance of the human subject, but also the very boundaries of what counts as human. Where in the past, the term prosthesis intended some material object that compensated for a substantive and negatively figured lack in embodiment, the emphasis now is firmly on enhancement and supplement. For many disabled people – whose interface with the world may rely to a greater or lesser extent on the deployment of prostheses – the mode of rehabilitation to normative practices is no longer the point; instead prostheses may be highly productive alternatives that inevitably queer experience itself. Going further, the notion of technological supplementarity can be transformed to encompass an understanding of embodiment as necessarily entailing assemblage – in both organic, non-organic and hybrid forms – as a mode of existence that troubles our human privilege.

Margrit Shildrick is Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at Linköping University, and Adjunct Professor of Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto. Her research covers postmodern feminist and cultural theory, bioethics, critical disability studies and body theory. Her major research centres on the intersection of postmodernism and bioethics, particularly in relation to organ transplantation, and in the use of various forms of prostheses.

Books include:

  • Leaky Bodies and Boundaries: Feminism, (Bio)ethics and Postmodernism (1997)
  • Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self (2002)
  • Dangerous Discourses of Disability, Sexuality and Subjectivity (2009)
  • plus several edited collections and many journal articles.

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