In this talk, I will share my personal experience as a user with cochlear implants, and discuss the history and future of this device's development. Introducing historian of science and technology Mara Mills' term "bionic rhetoric," I will explain how the cochlear implant negotiates two different strains of thinking in assistive technology design: normalization and enhancement. My talk will conclude with a discussion of how this rhetoric gets metabolized in literary and popular discourse, and how these narratives illuminate how people with disabilities use - and even hack - their assistive technologies.
Speaker: Lindsey Dolich Felt, Stanford
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