Norwegian version of this page

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.

*Symposium: 'Posthuman Entanglements'*

On May 15 2018, BIODIAL hosted an international symposium entitled 'Posthuman Entanglements: Disability, Illness, and Animality' at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. For further details, see the symposium event.

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 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.

It brings interdisciplinary and intersectional attention to the ways that certain lives can be considered somehow less than “human”—whether disabled human beings, or nonhuman animals, or dehumanized and animalized human populations. Biopolitics is a theoretical field that offers new ways of bringing together disability studies, animal studies, and posthumanism, including Foucauldian-inspired work on social constructions of “life” that have become politicized terrain. The result of these constructions include dominant discourses about which forms of life should be allowed to live or die, as well as stigmatization and discrimination based upon what is considered “normal” or “natural”.

These issues 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.


On cultural texts related to disability, illness, and animality, introduced by academics from different fields.

Join us on Facebook for comments, questions, and debates, and follow BIODIAL on Twitter.


The project is financed by The Norwegian Research Council (FRIPRO/FRIHUMSAM)


1 September 2017 to 31 August 2020


  • Jan Grue (2018). Samarbeidsklimaendringer. Om humanistiske og filosofiske livsbetingelser i en posthumanistisk tid. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0029-1943.  53, s 19- 27
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). The Future of Reading: Animality, Illness, and the Politics of Critique, In Jakob Lothe (ed.),  The Future of Literary Studies.  Novus Forlag.  ISBN 978-82-7099-900-2.  Chapter 5.  s 87 - 97

View all works in Cristin

  • Jan Grue (2019). Det var en gang et menneske. Posthumanisme som tanke og tendens. Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 9788215031798.  192 s.

View all works in Cristin

  • Michael Lundblad & Jan Grue (2019). Disability and Animality in Game of Thrones: From Narrative Prosthesis to Companion Prosthetics.
  • Jan Grue & Michael Lundblad (2019). Embodying the narrative: Disability and animality in Game of Thrones.
  • Sara Elisabeth Sellevold Orning (2019). "Disability, animality and gender: the extraordinary body in Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix".
  • Tom Zachary Bradstreet (2019). The Enabling Condition, or, What Does It Mean to Learn from Temple Grandin?.
  • Jan Grue (2019). Hele mennesker i en fantastisk verden. Morgenbladet.  ISSN 0805-3847.
  • Michael Lundblad (2018). Den litterære fauna: Menneskelige dyr og dyriske mennesker (deltager).
  • Michael Lundblad (2018). Survival Reading: Illness Narratives and Animalities in the New Millennium.
  • Michael Lundblad & Jan Grue (2018). The Biopolitics of Disability and Animality in Harriet McBryde Johnson.
  • Michael Lundblad (2018). The Jungle of the Ill: Animalities in Contemporary Illness Narratives.
  • Michael Lundblad & Jan Grue (2018). Posthuman Entanglements: The Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality.
  • Jan Grue (2018). De-valuing Lives: Towards a Critical Thanatopolitics.
  • Michael Lundblad (2018). The Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality: Cultural Representations and Societal Significance.
  • Sara Elisabeth Sellevold Orning (2018). "Early modern monstrous births and transhumanism's silent monsters: investigating the promise and threat of bodily difference".
  •  (2018). Åpen bok.
  •  (2018). Etter mennesket. Cary Wolfe, Mel Chen og Jan Grue om posthumanisme, biopolitikk, kunst og kropsspråk..
  • Jan Grue (2018). Disability in Game of Thrones: Fantastical diversity or narrative prosthesis?. The BIODIAL Blog.
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). Life in a Toxic Homeland: The Biopolitics of Animality and Disability in Bhopal and Indra Sinha's Animal's People.
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). Survival Reading: Terrors of Illness and Animality in the New Millennium.
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). The Future of Reading: Animality, Illness, and the Politics of Critique.
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). Disability and Animality.
  • Michael Lundblad (2017). Survival Reading: Illness, Animality, and Terror in the New Millennium.
  • Michael Lundblad & Jan Grue (2017). BIODIAL: The Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality.
  • Jan Grue (2017). System uten senter. Om posthumanisme. Morgenbladet.  ISSN 0805-3847.
  • Michael Lundblad & Tone Druglitrø (2017). Ebola Zombies and Terrorist Animals?: Welcome to World War Z. The BIODIAL Blog.
  • Jan Grue (2017). Dine, mine, våre barn. Anmeldelse av Karin Bojs' Min europeiske familie. Klassekampens Bokmagasin.  s 12- 12
  • Michael Lundblad & Jan Grue (2016). Representations of Disability.

View all works in Cristin

Published Feb. 8, 2017 10:22 AM - Last modified Oct. 24, 2018 12:26 PM


Project leader

Michael Lundblad