Virtual Book Launch for Jonathan Sterne’s Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment

Thursday, April 21, 2022 16:00to17:30
Event Poster for Prof. Sterne's book launch on April 21 at 4-5:30 pm
Book cover of Jonathan Sterne’s Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment

Join us for a virtual book launch for Jonathan Sterne’s Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment. The launch will open with a brief introduction by Jonathan, a discussion with Michele Friedner, and conclude with a virtual toast (BYO, sorry!) and an open Q&A period. CART captioning in English will be provided.

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/317176021017

“In Diminished Faculties Jonathan Sterne offers a sweeping cultural study and theorization of impairment. Drawing on his personal history with thyroid cancer and a paralyzed vocal cord, Sterne undertakes a political phenomenology of impairment in which experience is understood from the standpoint of a subject that is not fully able to account for itself. He conceives of impairment as a fundamental dimension of human experience, examining it as both political and physical. While some impairments are enshrined as normal in international standards, others are treated as causes or effects of illness or disability. Alongside his fractured account of experience, Sterne provides a tour of alternative vocal technologies and practices; a study of “normal” hearing loss as a cultural practice rather than a medical problem; and an intertwined history and phenomenology of fatigue that follows the concept as it careens from people to materials science to industrial management to spoons. Sterne demonstrates how impairment is a problem, opportunity, and occasion for approaching larger questions about disability, subjectivity, power, technology, and experience in new ways. Diminished Faculties ends with a practical user’s guide to impairment theory.” – Duke University Press

Learn more about Diminished Faculties at the Duke University Press website. Use coupon code E21STERN to save 30% on the paperback when you order from dukeupress.edu.

Jonathan Sterne teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. He is author of Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment (Duke, 2021); MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Duke 2012), The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke, 2003); and numerous articles on media, technologies and the politics of culture. He currently working on a project about artificial intelligence and the politics of culture. And with co-author Mara Mills, he is writing Tuning Time: Histories of Sound and Speed. Visit his website at http://sterneworks.org.

Michele Friedner is an associate professor in the department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. Her research explores deaf and disabled experiences in India and her forthcoming book Sensory Futures: Deafness and Cochlear Implant Infrastructures in India analyzes the ways that cochlear implants, as normalizing technologies, result in the constriction of sensory, modal, and relational possibilities for deaf children and those with whom they interact.

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