An interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculties of Arts and Medicine & Health at the University of Leeds
Augmenting the Body: Disability, Bodily Extensions, and the Posthuman
A Sadler Seminar Series at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute
Seminar 4: Work and the Posthuman
With Rebecca Randell and Stuart Murray
Thursday 27th April, 3-5pm
Seminar Room 1, Leeds Humanities Research Institute, 29-31 Clarendon Place, Leeds, LS2 9JT
Reading Disability in a time of posthuman work
Stuart Murray (English, Leeds)
This presentation will explore contemporary culture’s seeming obsession with ideas of speed, immediacy and efficiency in a time of 24/7 work, and where disability is positioned within such concepts. It will then look at two contemporary novels (Joshua Ferris’s The Unnamed and Michael Faber’s Under the Skin) that, through the representation of disability, offer critiques of posthuman work economies. In both texts, ideas of a singular and coherent body or self, and a humanist ‘proveable identity’, are revealed to be unsustainable because of the manner in which disability interacts with expectations of work.
Augmentation in the operating theatre: The impact of robotic surgery on teamwork
Rebecca Randell (Healthcare, Leeds)
This presentation will report findings from a recently completed study looking at the impact of robotic surgery on teamwork in the operating theatre. The robot provides the surgeon with a magnified, 3D view of the surgical site, more precise movement through tremor elimination and motion scaling, and increased freedom of movement. Robotic surgery also allows the surgeon to do more: with the provision of additional arms, the surgeon has control of the camera and can undertake retraction, both of which they are unable to do in a keyhole operation. However, this has implications for the roles of other members of the surgical team. The robot also takes away resources usually available in surgery, the surgeon’s position in the robot reducing awareness and presenting challenges for communication.