The Perfect Body (2009, Oct 9-13, Sweden)


- Call for Applications -Closing Date for Applications: 1 July 2009 ESF-LiU Conference The Perfect Body: between Normativity and Consumerism Scandic Linköping Väst, Linköping, Sweden 9-13 October 2009 www.esf.org/conferences/09273

Chaired by: Katrin Grüber - IMEW, DE & Ursula Naue - LSG, AT

ESF Contact: Anne Blondeel-Oman - ablondeel@esf.org

Enhancement as the improvement of desired characteristics (W. French Anderson) means to focus on abilities, capacities and quality of life. These categories can be viewed and defined from different value-driven perspectives which are based upon certain viewpoints on what constitutes “normality”. Furthermore they are framed by the concept of autonomy. The general approach towards the issue of enhancement can be understood in the context of consumerism – the “production” of enhanced persons as an act of individual freedom and choice. But another approach, which will be the main focus of the conference, is based upon the fact that perspectives of disabled persons on enhancement have been neglected so far. This is important as enhancement technologies can have different societal and political implications for disabled and non-disabled persons. The discussion about enhancement focuses on therapy of something in need of treatment. But with regard to disability, this debate about enhancement in contrast to therapy and treatment has to be re-thought and re-contextualised.

Hence, the conference takes as its starting point the view that it is socio-politically as well as ethically necessary and important to look at enhancement technologies from a “disability-perspective”. In the context of historic developments and the intersection of medicine and economy, enhancement technologies will be discussed from several different scientific perspectives. The conference is organised as an interdisciplinary dialogue and aims to provide an open forum for discussion and networking. This approach towards enhancement technologies is necessary, as the field of enhancement is an increasingly important area of intervention into life and the body. The conference will be the first international meeting to bring together Disability Studies, Science, Technology and Society Studies and Ethics. The following are some of the questions that will be discussed:  § To what extent and in what way does consumerism influence the current debate about enhancement technologies? § Which problems arise from this understanding of enhancement technologies for disabled and non-disabled persons and consumers of these technologies? § What are the consequences of enhancement technologies for disabled persons? § Is the “upgrade” an upgrade from old established norms or is a “new normal body” created? § Who is excluded by both starting points of enhancing the human being? § Do enhancement technologies carry a risk of excluding certain groups within society, such as disabled persons? § How can consumerism be embedded in an ethical framework? § What role does normativity play? § What new possible forms of exclusion and inequality on several levels might occur as a result of using enhancement technologies?

Questions such as these make it quite clear that the conference is a necessary and important way of approaching enhancement technologies that already have implications for both human beings and for society.

Invited Speakers will include:

·         Michael BURY - RHUL London., UK Another look at the body ·         Inez DE BEAUFORT - Erasmus MC, NL tbc ·         Barbara DUDEN - Hannover U., DE Never good enough? The "body" between normativity and consumerism ·         Marcus DÜWELL - Utrecht U., NL Liberal Societies and the Moral Evaluation of Human Capacities: Ethical presuppositions in the Enhancement-debate ·         Jennifer FISHMAN - McGill U. Montreal, CA ·         Joakim ISAKSSON - Umeå U., SE ·         Rosemarie GARLAND-THOMSON - Emory U., US ·         Katrin GRÜBER - IMEW, DE Cochlea implant as a case study for promises and expectations ·         Robin MACKENZIE - Kent U., UK ·         Judit SANDOR - CEU Budapest, HU ·         Silke SCHICKTANZ - UMG Göttingen, DE Morality and Perspectivism in the Therapy-Enhancement-Distinction ·         Frida SIMONSTEIN - Yezreel Valley College, IL Reprogenetics, enhancing and the invisible vessel ·         Jackie Leach SCULLY - Newcastle U., UK This is how I am: Bodies, difference, and identity ·         Bertrand TONDU - Toulouse U., FR Cyborgs and Humanoid Robots: Myth and Reality ·         Simo VEHMAS - Jyväskylä U., SF Dimensions of disability ·         Paul VERSCHURE - U. Pompeu Fabra, ES How to Build a Cyborg ·         Anne WALDSCHMIDT - Cologne U., DE Body, power, difference - reflections about normativity, normality and disability ·         Gregor WOLBRING - Calgary U., CA Ableism, Transhumanism and the transhumanization of Ableism: The Future has started today?

Full conference programme and application form accessible online from www.esf.org/conferences/09273

Some grants are available for young researchers to cover the conference fee and possibly part of the travel costs. Grant requests should be made by ticking appropriate field(s) in the paragraph "Grant application" of the application form.

Kind regards, Corinne Wininger Communications Officer - ESF Conferences

European Science Foundation - Communications Unit 1 quai Lezay-Marnésia, BP 90015 67080 Strasbourg Cedex, France Phone: +33 (0)388 76 21 50 Fax: +33 (0)388 76 71 80 clemoal@esf.org www.esf.org/conferences

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF), in partnership with Linköping University (LiU).

With support from