[csaa-forum] Reminder: GCS Seminar today, Technologies of disability

Melissa Gregg mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Fri Jul 31 09:36:45 CST 2009

The Department of Gender and Cultural Studies Seminar Series for Semester 2
begins this afternoon at 2pm. All are welcome.
The full schedule for the semester's seminars is attached to this message.
Please feel free to distribute!

Today¹s theme:
'Technologies of disability' organised by Anna Hickey-Moody.

In ŒThe History of Sexuality¹ Foucault introduces his notion of bio-power as
a technology of social control that has developed with capitalism. He
states: ³bio-power was without question an indispensible element in the
development of capitalism; the latter would not have been possible without
the controlled insertion of bodies into the machinery of production² (1978,
pp. 140-1). As disability studies scholars such as Tremain (2005), Goggin
and Newell (2005), Corker and Shakespeare (2002) and many others have shown,
the concept of bio-power informs contemporary understandings of disability
in at least two ways. Firstly, as a mode of governance that supports
capitalism, bio-power has produced the disabled body as being without great
financial value because it can be difficult to insert into the Œmachinery¹
of capitalist production. Secondly, as a result of the former process,
material technological developments for users with disabilities have largely
been limited to rudimentary Œassistive technologies¹ that do not extend, for
example, to easily accessible mobile phones or Second Life interfaces. This
seminar approaches the notion of Œtechnologies of disability¹ from this
understanding of a technology as an act of thought (subjectivation) and a
material craft. The speakers explore physical technologies such as film,
virtual worlds and other communication mediums through modes of thought that
are intended to open up bio-political conceptualizations of disability.

Professor Gerard Goggin: Gerard is Professor of Digital Communication, and
Deputy Director of the new Centre for Social Research in Journalism and
Communication, University of New South Wales. He has research expertise in
disability research and policy, especially relating to technology and media.
With Christopher Newell he is author of Digital Disability (Rowman &
Littlefield, 2003), and many other papers on technology, disability, and
society. Their second book Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social
Apartheid (University of New South Press, 2005) was awarded the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission Arts Non-Fiction prize.

Dr Densie Wood: Denise is the Program Director and Senior Lecturer
responsible for the Bachelor of Media Arts program at the University of
South Australia. She has extensive experience in the multimedia industry as
both a producer and educator. Denise was a founding member of the
Information Policy Advisory Council established by the Communications
Minister in 1996 and the Director of an organisation specialising in
multimedia production and training for young people with disabilities, from
1994 to 1997. Her research now combines new media and disability studies
with a focus on Web .2 and Second Life.

Dr Anna Hickey-Moody: Anna is a lecturer in the Department of Gender and
Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is interested in how we
can re-frame questions of social justice, and as such, her research
intersects across cultural studies of youth, disability and gender. Anna is
interested in how bodies marked as somehow being Œdisadvantaged¹ might be
thought in new ways. She is co-author of Masculinity beyond the Metropolis
(Palgrave, 2006), co-editor of Deleuzian Encounters (Palgrave, 2007) and
author of Unimaginable Bodies (Sense, 2009).

All seminars will be held in the New Law School Seminar Room 442, on Eastern
This is the glass building half way along on your right if entering campus
from City Road Main Gate.
See the map here: http://www.law.usyd.edu.au/about/campus.shtml

Seminars run from 2pm-4pm with afternoon tea half way through.

mgregg at usyd.edu.au or phone 0408 599 359

Works cited
Corker, M. and Shakespeare, T. (2002) Disability/Postmodernity: Embodying
Disability Theory. Continuum, UK.
Foucault, M. (1978) The History of Sexuality: Volume One. Penguin Books,
Goggin, G. and Newell, C. (2005) ŒFoucault on the phone: Disability and the
mobility of government¹. Foucault and the Government of Disability. Ed.
Tremain, S. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. Pp. 261-277.
Tremain, S. Ed (2005) Foucault and the Government of Disability. University
of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

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