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by Andy Miah, PhD

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Post-Humanism and the Politics of Animal Representation

Call for Papers

2006 Northeastern Modern Language Association (NEMLA) Convention
Philadelphia, PA, 2 - 5 March 2006

Following the Second World War, a re-examination of the animal as a
category of ontological being by Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida pushed
this question of philosophical theory out of its academic margin.
Moreover, North America's ecocritical movement has produced an
increasingly visible body of work. Nevertheless, the politics of animal
representation remains quite underdeveloped in both literary theory and
criticism. This panel will take submissions on literary works that
reconsider how representations of animals function in terms of their
politics, how different types of representations may not work to
encourage or resist appropriation as metaphors, and in particular, how
these works might rearticulate other questions of race, gender and
transnationlism along the lines of species.

For consideration, please e-mail 250-word abstracts by 15 September
2005 to vjguihan@connect.carleton.ca or mail print copies to:

Vincent Guihan
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Murderball & Cyborgs

I tread very carefully when discussing the use of technology by people with disabilities. I am skeptical of progressive transhumanist arguments associated with reparative technologies. However, this documentary seems to demand that very progressive argument. I am not sure that it lends itself to a cyborgian or posthuman discourse, unless we deal with those terms as simply the broadening of what it means to be human or, indeed, disabled.

I have only seen a trailer for the movie, but the director and actor/athletes talk about transforming the way in which athletes/people with a disability are perceived. In this sense, they are entering into a process of re-definition. I wonder whether they would see themselves as constitutiely technological as athletes. The chairs they use are quite different vehicles/ prosthetics to any that I have seen in other sports and their attitudes come across as deliberately and unapologetically aggresssive.

There is surely a paper waiting to be written about this both within sport studies and cultural studies of technology.