Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality (BIODIAL)
This project explores how certain human and nonhuman lives are constructed as less valuable than others in cultural, literary, and social representations of disability, illness, animals, and animality.
About the project
The Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality: Cultural Representations and Societal Significance (BIODIAL)
The interdisciplinary core of the project is to link disability and illness studies with animal and animality studies within the overarching framework of biopolitics, despite the fact that disability studies and animal studies have often resisted biopolitical intersections between them.
This theoretical background can illuminate cultural attitudes and problems related to disability, illness, and animality, as well as policy discussions and debates in the Norwegian public sphere and beyond.
This project explores various ways of thinking about what it means to be human—as opposed to animal—when analyzing literary and cultural representations of humans with disabilities and illnesses, as well as animals and human animality.
It seeks to advance research in the humanities and social sciences by further developing disability studies and animal studies and the ways in which these new interdisciplinary branches of inquiry intersect with key questions of biopolitics and bioethics.
Biopolitical questions include which forms of life should be allowed to live or die with impunity, including populations that can be deemed disposable or less valuable by the state.
These questions connect disability, illness, and animality to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class, as well as educational policies, workplace conditions, and legislation regarding issues such as: discrimination, accessibility, accommodation, euthanasia, assisted suicide, abortion, prenatal testing, health care, vivisection, animal experimentation, factory farming, animal welfare, animal rights, and veterinary medicine.
The methodological focus of the project is critical discourse analysis of literary and cultural texts, analyzing representations of disability, illness, and animality in relation to broader social issues.
The BIODIAL Blog:
On cultural texts related to disability, illness, and animality, introduced by academics from different fields
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The project is financed by The Norwegian Research Council (FRIPRO/FRIHUMSAM)
1 September 2017 to 31 August 2020