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Title: Our posthuman present: thinking through ableism, disability, and untethered norms
Authors: Boucher, Martin
Keywords: Disability studies;Transhumanism;Posthumanism;Critical posthumanism;Optimization;Maximization;Normalization
Issue Date: 29-Aug-2022
Abstract: This dissertation aims to show, through the example of disability studies, how changes in the modes of normalization in our contemporary society have affected how abnormality is perceived and controlled. The purpose is to explore, promote, and contribute in some way to the more critical currents of Disability Studies, but also to use these more nuanced critical currents as roadmaps to how we may destabilize dominant narratives that affect, or are slated to affect, an increasing number of people in the near future. I argue that to understand the situation of disability today is to understand our shared posthuman condition. In Part 1, I describe the ways in which biomedicine and neoliberalism as technologies of control have mutated beyond the historical limits of modernist thinking. Practically speaking, it is argued that we can think of optimization and maximization as fundamental orienting norms in a de facto posthuman world. In Part 2, I describe transhumanism as the dominant framework through which we develop our ideas about the future, and oppose it to a disability informed critical posthumanist perspective. I conclude the work with some preliminary political and ethical considerations about our relationship to technology, the value we place on alternative embodiments, and the need to include alternative voices in choosing an acceptable future. These remain preliminary because the purpose is not to offer a definitive vision of the future but offer some enabling conditions for those marginal and minoritarian voices to contribute to our shared project of world-making
Appears in Collections:Human Studies and Interdisiplinarity - Doctoral Theses

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