[csaa-forum] Somatechnics Seminar Series: Corpographies Seminar 8

Jessica Cadwallader Jessica.Cadwallader at scmp.mq.edu.au
Tue Aug 29 12:33:17 CST 2006

Please find attached the flyer for seminar eight in the series
"Corpographies: Bodies in Question," hosted by the Department of
Critical and Cultural Studies.

Department of Critical and Cultural Studies
Somatechnics Seminar Series 2006

Corpographies: Bodies in Question

In a contemporary context in which bodies, in all their multiplicity,
are being redesigned, scanned, enhanced, medicalised, captured,
imprisoned or tortured, this seminar series is designed to articulate
the cultural inscription of bodies in question.

Date/Time: 13 September, 3.00-5.00pm

Venue: Bldg W6A Rm 820, Macquarie University

Seminar Topic: "Phantom Bodies"

Speakers / Abstracts:

Holly Randell-Moon (CCS) / "Representations of whiteness, Indigeneity,
and religion in legal and political discourse"

The importance attached to the enlightenment and Christianity in Prime
John Howard's recent suggestions to make history a mandatory subject for
highschool curriculum are supported by a common sense idea that
Australian culture is, through a disembodied Australianness, an essence
that can be known and understood. The association of this essence with
Christianity has a particular history that has contributed to the
formation and representation of Australian national identity as
unproblematically Anglo-Celtic and has effects for the representations
of Indigenous religious systems. This paper argues that a reading of
Indigenous beliefs in mainstream political and legal discourse as
"pre-modern" and only "authentic" when distinct from Western culture
reproduces a racialised essence of Indigeneity in opposition to an
invisible and therefore un-raced white Australian embodiment. A white
epistemological perspective for viewing religion as separate from
politics masks the incorporation of Christianity into Anglo-Australian
culture through a racialised religious discourse that equates race with
non-Christian and non-Anglo subjectivities, thereby reproducing
whiteness with a liminal status in representations of Anglo-Australian
religious bodies.  

Helen Keane (ANU) / "Prozac, Enhancement, Distraction"

Bioethical discussion about Prozac and the other SSRI anti-depressants
focuses on their role as 'enhancement technologies', medical products
and practices used for self-improvement rather than treatment. For
critics such as Carl Elliot, the enhanced self on Prozac comes to
symbolise a profound diminishment of human existence. Enhancement
symbolises its ironic opposite, a loss of the unique self in the service
of cultural conformity. But what exactly is the nature of
Prozac-mediated enhancement/diminishment? In the critical discourse on
Prozac, the drug's operation as a pharmacological distraction from
conditions of alienation and questions of meaning symbolises its
destructive effect on selfhood. In response my paper argues that Prozac
can indeed be thought of as a technology of distraction. But it defends
the usefulness of distraction in constructing a viable and active
subjectivity, a subjectivity characterised by a capacity to live in the

For more information concerning this seminar series, please contact
Jessica Cadwallader (Jessica.Cadwallader at scmp.mq.edu.au) or Julia Wee on
9850 8778

The complete 2006 schedule of CCS Seminars is available at:

Jess Cadwallader
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Critical and Cultural Studies
Macquarie University
North Ryde 2109
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