DRF News

Event: CDS Seminar: Mediated Communication and the Metaphysics of Presence ~ Russell Shuttleworth (Nov. 2012: Manchester, UK)

Event: CDS Seminar: Mediated Communication and the Metaphysics of Presence

Date: Tuesday, 6th November 2012: 4.00-5.30pm

Place: Room T208, Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hathersage Road, Manchester M13 0JA

Mediated Communication and the Metaphysics of Presence ~ Russell Shuttleworth (Deakin University, Australia)

Free Seminar organised by Critical Disability Studies @MMU

The conceptual impetus for this still developing paper is Derrida’s critique of logocentrism and the metaphysics of presence, in which he claims that speech over writing is uncritically perceived as a more immediate presence to one’s self and by extension others and that this assumption pervades not only Western philosophy texts but also interaction and communication in everyday life. Although the significance of Derrida’s post-structural ideas about speech and language have been developed within Deaf Studies as related to sign language communication, their significance has not been drawn out for those who are significantly ‘speech impaired’ and thus require communication assistance. In this paper, I employ some of Derrida’s notions as a starting point to interrogate the issue of mediated communication for people who require some form of communication assistance such as a speech facilitator, speech revoicer, alphabet board or computerized speech device. Also drawing on debates and insights within critical disability studies, feminist phenomenology, the anthropology of the knowing subject, Deaf studies and speech pathology, among other fields, I am concerned to highlight the issue of “communication disablement” (Patterson 2012) within the lives of people who require the above kinds of communication assistance be that in the form of a technology or a person. To illustrate certain points, I draw on my involvement in a number of research projects that have included as participants people who require assistance to communicate, as well as my many years of experience as a personal assistant for and friend and colleague of several such persons.

Dr Russell Shuttleworth is a Senior Lecturer and Co-ordinator of the MSW Program in the School of Health and Social Development, at Deakin University, Australia. His teaching responsibilities currently include several classes in research methodology and another on care and risk. Russell recently co-edited a book with Teela Sanders (Leeds University) entitled, Sex and Disability: Politics, Identity and Access. He has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals as well as book chapters on subjects including sexuality and disability, aged care and disability studies theory.

For further information from the organisers, please contact: Dr. Shaun Grech shaungrech@gmail.com

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