Destabilising Human Embodiment: Prostheses, Biotechnologies and Assemblages

In the era of postmodernity, issues of bodies and biotechnologies 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, in both inorganic and organic registers. The deployment of prostheses no longer primarily signals a therapeutic mode of rehabilitation to normative practices, but opens up some highly productive alternatives that inevitably queer embodied experience itself. My claim is that the notion of prosthetic supplementarity necessarily entails assemblage, and that it must encompass the artificial and natural alike, engaging with microstructures as well as with whole bodies. It is a mode of existence that troubles our human privilege.

Margrit Shildrick is Guest Professor in Gender and Knowledge Production at Stockholm University, and Visiting Professor of Critical Disability Studies, York University, Toronto.

Date & time

Tue 27 Mar 2018, 4.30–5.45pm


Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building


Emeritus Professor Margrit Shildrick (Stockholm University)

Event series


Penny Brew
+61 2 6125 4357


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