DRF News

PhD Opportunities – ‘Biohybrid Human Network’ @ Univ. of Sheffield

Multidisciplinary PhDs in Social Science, Humanities, Bioscience and Engineering: Biohybrid Human Network

Deadline for applications: 17th January 2014; Entry date: 1st October 2014

***project 5 and 6 might be of particular interest to disability studies peeps***

Background: Rapid developments in bioengineering, computer science, psychology, and biomedicine are leading to increasing levels of interaction between humans and emerging biotechnologies in a wide range of settings from the clinic to the classroom. The use of these new technologies takes many forms, including implants, prosthetics, drugs and devices that modify or augment the body, and at the same time create new forms of individual and collective identity. These changes challenge both existing scientific and cultural categories and blur the boundaries between natural, social, and synthetic objects. The blurring of these boundaries raises important issues such as at what point does biology become artefact and technology become alive? In our increasingly biohybrid world, what does it mean to be living? And what does it mean to be human? The goal of the Biohybrid Human Network is to understand both the interactions and the distinctions between what we are and what we create, and to improve how we interact with our inventions. It involves academics from across the University of Sheffield and is initially focussed around three core research themes; i) biohybrid systems, ii) biohybrid individuals, iii) biohybrid societies. 

We aim to create a cohort of PhD students who will work with the Biohybrid community to unite the pure and social sciences, medicine, engineering, and the arts. This requires flexible individuals with a range of backgrounds who will learn from each other and gain a wide range of research skills and enhanced interdisciplinary knowledge.   We welcome applications from students who should have or expect to achieve an undergraduate honours degree at 2.1 or higher in a relevant field e.g. in computer science, cognitive science, Ecology, environmental engineering, neuroscience, psychology, social science or humanities. Students will receive a scholarship which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate and an annual stipend equivalent at the standard RCUK rate for 3 years full-time.

Projects available through the network:

  1. Communicating with the environment through artificial ears: Perception of emotion in speech and music by cochlear implant users (Renee Timmers,r.timmers@sheffield.ac.uk; Department of Music).
  2. Synthetic ecology: Engineering natural system (Jags Pandhal,j.pandhal@sheffield.ac.uk; Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering).
  3. Towards an embodied model of multimodal musical learning (Stuart Wilson,s.p.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk; Department of Psychology).
  4. Modelling the (biohybrid) human using ‘living machines (Paul Martin,paul.martin@sheffield.ac.uk; Department of Sociological Studies).
  5. Posthuman, enhanced and lacking bodies: Rethinking the human (Dan Goodley,d.goodley@sheffield.ac.uk; School of Education).
  6. Posthumanism, migrant and dis/abled bodies (Nishat Awan,n.awan@sheffield.ac.uk; School of Architecture).

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the lead supervisor(s) directly to discuss and develop a project idea that interests them. Formal applications including a 3 page summary of the project idea (developed in collaboration with the lead supervisor), CV (with reference details – we will NOT contact your referees; it is your responsibility to request references and ensure we receive them), and degree transcripts (if available) should be submitted to the lead supervisor of the project you are interested in by 17thJanuary 2014.

The advert is live at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/scholarships/projects/biohybrid

DRF News

New Publication: Special Issue on “Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture and Social Progress”

The special issue of the journal Health, Culture and Society, “Translating Happiness: Medicine, Culture and Social Progress” has just been published and is available through open access.

The issue includes:

Editorial Introduction ~ K. Aubrecht

Encounters with Translations of Happiness ~ T. Titchkosky

The Neoliberal Circulation of Affects: Happiness, accessibility and the capacitation of disability as wheelchair ~ K. Fritsch

As If You Have a Choice: Autism mothers and the remaking of the human ~ P. N. Douglas

Alterity In/Of Happiness: Reflecting on the radical possibilities of unruly bodies ~ E. Chandler and C. Rice

A link to the issue table of contents is included below. PDFs can be downloaded by clicking on “PDF” (on the right side of the page).

http://hcs.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/hcs/issue/current/showToc

Enjoy!

 

DRF News

Announcing 5th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane***: More Questions of the Human (July, 2014: Sheffield, UK)

Event: 5th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane***

Theme: More Questions of the Human

Date: 7th + 8th July 2014

Place: University of Sheffield, UK

follow on twitter @normalcy2014  #normalcy2014

This conference is organised by the University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Chester, the University of Toronto in association with the White Rose Studies of Ableism Research collaboration.

The University of Sheffield is delighted to be hosting this conference in July 2014. This year our call for papers encourages engagement with the human and its historically problematic relationship with idealisations of the normal, the able and the non-disabled. The last 4 normalcy conferences have seriously contested and challenged these idealisations. For #normalcy2014 we seek to up the ante a little more and debate together what kinds of human/ity should be valued in our context of austerity, economic crisis and neoliberal capitalism. Some questions that might be addressed:

  • To what extent is ‘the human’ a desirable or problematic category?
  • In what ways do normative understandings underpin ‘universal’ notions of children’s humanity?
  • What does it mean to be post-human?
  • In these times of technological and human enmeshment does it make more sense to talk of the post-human than the outdated category of human?
  • Do we need to hang on to notions of de-humanisation as powerful political statements?
  • What do post-human politics resemble?
  • How do queer, dis/ability, postcolonial analyses evoke different or alternative notions of the human?
  • How might we (not) want to resist, revise and shape notions of the human?
  • Is the human worth fighting for?
  • To what extent is the human an ableist fiction?
  • To what extent are queers and crips nightmare characters to the narratives of humanity?

 

Abstracts of no more than 200 words (with a short bio) should be submitted by 1st February 2014 to the normalcy2014@gmail.com

Presenters will be informed of acceptance by 1st May 2014.  To secure a place in the conference programme, presenters should have booked a place by 30th May 2014. Keynotes will be announced before November 2013. In the spirit of an eco-friendly conference, registered delegates will be sent information electronically.  Details of accommodation near the venue will also be sent to delegates.

While the conference is FREE, we have secured funding for lunch and refreshments.  Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements so we can make the catering team aware of delegate requirements.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to Sheffield

Normalcy2014 conference organisers* in association with White Rose Studies of Ableism**

* Dan Goodley (UoS); Nick Hodge (SHU); Rebecca Mallett (SHU); Cassie Ogden (Univ of Chester); Katherine Runswick-Cole (MMU); Jenny Slater (SHU).
** http://whiterosestudiesofableism.wordpress.com/