[SIGCIS-Members] cfa: The Global Cochlear Implant

Mara Mills mmills at nyu.edu
Tue Sep 26 06:02:45 PDT 2023

The Global Cochlear Implant: Provincializing “Brain Implants” through
Disability Technocultures

Michele Friedner (University of Chicago) and Mara Mills (New York
University) have received funding from the US-based National Endowment for
the Humanities
a conference, working group, and book project on “The Global Cochlear
Implant” for the period Fall 2023-Fall 2025. We are seeking chapter
contributors for our interdisciplinary edited volume that will focus on:

-Historical and contemporary accounts of cochlear implant development and
utilization in specific geographic contexts, including developing contexts

-Pre-histories of cochlear implant development and use (especially in
Russia, France, Austria)

-Analysis of the ways that cochlear implantation is changing (or not) deaf
and disability identities, socialities, solidarities, and life trajectories
in specific geographic contexts

- Ethics of cochlear implantation development, dissemination, and use in
diverse contexts; an exploration of ethics can also include discussions of
brain implants and biotechnology more broadly

- Humanistic and aesthetic accounts and representations of cochlear

- Histories connecting cochlear implants to the broader category of brain

Doctoral students are welcome and encouraged to apply. Contributors can be
at any academic or non-academic rank and will be offered a stipend for
their chapters as well as travel and lodging funds to attend the October
2024 conference in Chicago. Participants will also be invited to attend
monthly zoom group meetings where they will receive support for writing
their chapters.

The deadlines are as follows:


   Submit abstract and cv to michelefriedner at uchicago.edu and mmills at nyu.edu
   <mamills at nyu.edu> by December 1 2023; please email both with questions
   and/or concerns.

   Decisions will be made by Jan 1, 2024.

   Working group meetings in support of research and writing of papers will
   commence first week of February.

   Conference will be held in October 2024 at the University of Chicago;
   Participants will present talks based on their chapters.

   Versions of chapters will be sent to the selected press in April 2025.

Project Abstract:

Perhaps no medical device has sparked more popular discussion of the
“dangers and opportunities of technology” than the cochlear implant (CI).
The first true bionic device, CIs (re)produce an absent ‘normal’ human
function (Blume 2009). Despite ongoing polarizing debates about the
ramifications of CI technology, only a few book-length studies of the
technology exist, and these have overwhelmingly emphasized U.S. and
European perspectives. This collaborative humanities project will document
the impacts of the technology itself (e.g. algorithmic bias), the influence
of the global corporations that market it, and the range of ways implants
have been domesticated, maintained, and re-interpreted. At this pivotal
moment for the development and global dissemination of neuroprosthetics,
with brain implants widely featured in the popular press, this
multi-disciplinary, international project will serve both a documentary and
a comparative function, as well as provide a platform, through our
conference and published work, for alternative narratives of CI use.

Mara Mills <http://maramills.org/> | Associate Professor | Media, Culture,
and Communication | New York University
Co-Director, NYU Center for Disability Studies

Crip Authorship: Disability as Method
<https://nyupress.org/9781479819355/crip-authorship/>, eds. Mills and
Sanchez (NYU 2023)
Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality
<https://academic.oup.com/book/36957>, eds. Tkaczyk, Mills, and Hui (Oxford
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