Using a range of social science methods and drawing on the sociology of the body, biomedicine and technology, Haddow invites readers of ‘Embodiment and everyday cyborgs’ to consider whether they might prefer organs from other humans or non-human animals (known as xenotransplantation), or implantable ‘cybernetic’ technologies to replace their own? In discovering that individuals have a very clear preference for human organs but not for the non-human, Haddow suggests that the inside of our bodies may be more important to our sense of identity than may have previously been thought. Whereas organs from other (once) living bodies can contaminate the body of the recipient (simultaneously altering subjectivity so they inherit traits e.g. gender), cybernetic technology is acclimatised to and becomes part of the body and subjectivity. In organ transplantation the organ has the potential to alter subjectivity – whereas with cybernetic technology it does not alter identity but is incorporated into existing subjectivity. Technologies are clean from previous organic fleshy associations and although they may malfunction or cause infection, they do not alter identity in the way that an organ might. Yet, we are arguably creating a 21st-century identity crisis through an increasing reliance on cybernetic technologies such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) creating new forms of ‘un-health’ and a new category of patient called ‘everyday cyborgs’ who have to develop strategies to incorporate device alienation as well as reinserting human agency over ICD activation.
(command-control-communication-intelligence), which she argues is the essential criteria for modern war ( 1991 : 150), and I argue the C3I definitions cover the requirements needed to define an implant as cybernetic.
I will suggest that an ICD is not only smart but might be considered a cybernetic device and is therefore quite literally putting the ‘cybernetic’ into ‘organism’ and creating a cyborg. Other cyborg scholars have given the term cyborg further academic and empirical refinement (Gray, 1995a , Pollock, 2011 , Oudshoorn, 2015 , Oudshoorn, 2016 ). Scholars
The term cyborg rarely appears in the sociology of health or medicine literature and seems never used about people who live with technological modifications as a form of therapy. This is a curious absence (the absence itself rarely commented upon) given the increasing reliance on cybernetic technologies by Western medical professionals in economically developed societies. Reluctance to use the term cyborg more generally is related to the widespread knowledge of the cyborg in extremis ; the inhumane, often male, monsters depicted in modern science
Animal, mechanical and me: Technologies that alter subjectivity
(Voice-over to ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’, American TV Series, 1974–1978).
It is 2015, and I am interviewing Maggie, six weeks after she has had an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) fitted in order to prevent her from having a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). She shares with Steve Austen the fact that she too has to live a techno-organic hybrid life, allowing cybernetic systems to control some of her vital functions. Unlike Steve Austen, Maggie is not better, stronger or faster. This book is about individuals such as Maggie who are everyday cyborgs
world with others in it. To some extent, what is placed inside the body will affect how the person will relate to others and how they interact in the surrounding space. Body modifications and subjectivity alterations affect others such as friends and family who are close to the implanted or transplanted techno-hybrid individual. For example, the everyday cyborg is affected by other people and environments that may damage, intentionally or unintentionally, the ICD and, by implication, the everyday cyborg.
It has to be you or me
Partly due to the idea of donor
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
’, ‘because I don’t want a machine inside my body’, ‘I don’t want to be cyborg’, ‘I don’t want metal inside me’.
The small number which indicated the mechanical implant was their most favoured option referred to popular films, suggesting that ‘I want to be like Iron Man or the Terminator’, and ‘It would be cool being part-robot’, ‘It would be cool to be Robocop’, ‘I feel that it’s easier and I’d be more comfortable with that than someone else’s organ in my body’. Other survey respondents suggested that, due to thorough testing and advances, technology was felt to be
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone
aftermath of a
devastating world war amidst the ruins of a climate-changed planet. Her
job involves educating Spike, this time a cyborg created to provide objective,
rational government of the country. Britain is run by a faceless corporation
called MORE, which has rebuilt the war-torn economy and now asserts
complete control over it. But MORE is also the name of the corporation
184 Reading sustainability
behind the Central Power of the first chapter. Thus, Planet Blue is Planet
Earth, and is committing identical, not merely similar, mistakes to those
made by humans on
Rinehart ( 2010 , p. 1273) write:
Acknowledging the significant role of
equipment in surfing, Ford and Brown refer to the board as a
‘hybrid extension of the body’, while Borden
describes the skateboard as ‘a prosthetic device, an
extension of the body as a kind of fifth limb, absorbed into and
diffused inside the body-terrain encounter’.
describing the surfboard in this way, the surfer resembles a form of
cyborg, with the material
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson, and Roiyah Saltus
Haraway , D.
( 1991 ) Simians,
Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature , London : Free Association Books .
Keith , M.
( 2005 ) After the
Cosmopolitan? Multicultural Cities and the Future of Racism , London : Routledge .
Rose , G.
( 1997 ) ‘ Situating knowledges: Positionality, reflexivities and other