Social Semiotics



Publication Details

Ehlers, N. & Krupar, S. (ed.) Social Semiotics, vol. 22:1, 2012,


The body, at the level of the breast, is the terrain on and through which breast cancer registers. This body, as understood through poststructuralist theory, is always already constructed and negotiated in relation to technology. This body, then, is a technologized body. The experience of breast cancer at once compels particular interfaces of body and machine in detection, treatment, and “recovery,” and the necessity for corporeal reworking in relation to the machine. Stressing the material breast as a technologized terrain necessitates grappling with the myriad of troubled relations of/to the breast, such as the prosthetic breast, the absent breast, fear of the lost breast, refusal of the breast, the scrutinized fleshy breast. In order to enable such exploration, we solicit papers in the fields of science and technology studies, queer studies, cultural studies, performance studies, and disability studies that enter into dialogue with scholarship on (bio)technologies and/or the posthuman. Foregrounding the technologized materiality in breast cancer will yield new ways of understanding subjectivity and somatic resistance, crafting corporeality, and practicing critique/politics in order to extend “livable lives.”

We are especially interested in accounts of queer, non-white, crip, male, classed bodies, and other particularities of subjecthood, that explore the practices of the technologized body in breast cancer at the level of machine and science, and imagined through biotech, the cyborg, cybernetics, prostheses, biometrics, and so forth.

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