Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre

Embodiment and Identity

Embodiment and Identity

Overview

Biomedicine and biotechnology influence how societies conceptualise and behave towards various kinds of body. This includes embodied personal and collective identities.

One key area of our work considers aspects of disability. We have looked at how genetic and other technologies interact with the lives of people with bodies that are disabled or otherwise considered 'abnormal'.

Another focus of our research is the forensic and identification technologies applied to living and dead bodies. This research looks at how these technologies change the social meaning of the unidentified or unknown body.

Read about our projects and publications within this theme.

Projects

Find out what projects we've been involved in.

Projects

European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence, 2012-2017

Funding: FP7, €6,613,000
Co-ordinator: Professor Peter Schneider, Klinikum der Universität zu Köln
Co-investigator: Robin Williams

Naming the dead: social, ethical, legal and political issues of disaster victim identification by DNA, 2012

Workshop December 2012
Funding: Brocher Foundation, £25,000
Project Leads: Jackie Leach Scully, Robin Williams, of Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science, and Andreas Kleiser, International Committee for Missing Persons

Embodied Selves in Transition: Disabled Young Bodies 2011 – 2013

Funding: ESRC, £229,000 to PEALS
Principal Investigator: Janice McLaughlin
Co-investigators: Professor Allan Colver, Institute of Health and Society, and Professor Patrick Olivier, School of Computer Sciences
Read more about this project.

Known soldiers: DNA identification of military remains at Fromelles, 2011-2012

Funding: Faculty and School Research Funds, £4,300
Principal Investigator: Jackie Leach Scully

Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods, 2008-2011

Funding: ESRC £205,000 (£9,000 to PEALS)
Principal Investigator: Professor Dan Goodley, Manchester Metropolitan University 
Co-investigator: Janice McLaughlin

How gay are your genes? 2004-2006

Funding: Wellcome Trust and Royal Society, £53,150
Principal Investigator: Tom Shakespeare
Read more about this project.

Memory and Forgetting, 2002-2003

Funding: Arts Council and NESTA, £38,000
Principal Investigator: Tom Shakespeare
Read more about this project.

Publications

Find out about some of our publications for this theme.

Publications

Our latest publications in this area include:

Scully JL. Disability and the challenge of genomics. In: Gibbon, S; Prainsack, B; Hilgartner, S; Lamoreaux, J, ed. Routledge Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society. Routledge, 2018, 186-194

Scully JL. Epistemic exclusion, injustice, and disability. In: Wasserman, D; Cureton, A, ed. Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. In Press.

Scully JL. From "She would say that, wouldn't she?" to "Does she take sugar?" Epistemic injustice and disability. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2018, 11(1), 106-124.

Woods S. Holism in Health Care: Patient as Person. In: Schramme, Thomas; Edwards, Steven, ed. Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands, 2017, pp.411-427.

Scully JL. On unfamiliar moral territory: about variant embodiment, enhancement and normativity. In: Eilers, M; Grueber, K; Rehmann-Sutter, C, ed. The Human Enhancement Debate and Disability: New Bodies for a Better Life. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, pp.23-37.

Scully JL. Body alienation and the moral sense of self. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 2013, 3(1), 26-28.

Scully JL. Disability and vulnerability: on bodies, dependence and control. In: Mackenzie, C; Rogers, W; Dodds, S, ed. Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp.204-221.

Scully JL. Re: A (conjoined twins). An ethical commentary. In: Smith SL et al, ed. Ethical Judgements: Rewriting Medical Law. Oxford: Hart, 2017, pp.31-37. 

Wienroth M. Socio-technical disagreements as ethical fora. Parabon NanoLab’s forensic DNA SnapshotTM service at the intersection of discourses around robust science, technology validation, and commerce. BioSocieties 2018, (ePub ahead of Print). 

Wienroth M. Governing anticipatory technology practices. Forensic DNA phenotyping and the forensic genetics community in Europe. New Genetics and Society 2018, 37(2), 137-152.

Williams R, Wienroth M. Social and Ethical Aspects of Forensic Genetics: A Critical ReviewForensic Science Review 2017, 29(2), 145-169.

Brown T, Geddes L, Gill P, Jesper-Mir E, Kayser M, Phillips C, Schneider P, Syndercombe-Court D, Thomas J, Wienroth M, Williams R. Making sense of forensic genetics. What can DNA tell you about a crime?. London: Sense About Science, 2017.

Toom V, Wienroth M, M'charek A, Prainsack B, Williams R, Duster T, Heinemann T, Kruse C, Machado H, Murphy E. Approaching ethical, legal and social issues of emerging forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) technologies comprehensively: Reply to 'Forensic DNA phenotyping: Predicting human appearance from crime scene material for investigative purposes' by Manfred KayserForensic Science International: Genetics 2016, 22, e1-e4.

Woods S. Why we should save the anthropocentric person . In: Coggon, J; Kushner, T; Holm, S; Chan, S, ed. From Reason to Practice in Bioethics: An anthology dedicated to the work of John Harris. Manchester, UK: Manchester Univerity Press, 2015, pp.102-118

Wienroth M, Morling N, Williams R. Applying advances in forensic genetics: When global science meets local legalityRecent Advances in DNA & Gene Sequences 2014, 8(2), 98-103.

Woods S. Death duty - caring for the dead in the context of disaster. New Genetics and Society 2014, 33(3), 333-347.

Scully JL. Disability: ethical and societal aspects. In: Jennings,B; Eckenwiler,L; Kaebnick,G; Koenig,B; Krimsky,S; Latham,SR; Mercurio,MR, ed. Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Michigan, U.S.A: Macmillan Reference, 2013.

Scully JL. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and cultural understandings of disability. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 2013. In Press.

Woods S. The 'good death', palliative care and end of life ethics. In: Woods, S; Hagger, L, ed. A Good Death?: Law and Ethics in Practice. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013, pp.103-121.

Scully JL, Woodward R. Naming the unknown of Fromelles: DNA profiling, ethics and the identification of First World War bodies. Journal of War and Culture Studies 2012. In Press

Scully JL. Auf moralisch unsicherem Terrain: ueber Embodiment, Enhancement, und Normativitaet. In: Eilers, M., Grueber, K., Rehmann-Sutter, C, ed. Verbesserte Koerper - Gutes Leben?: Bioethik, Enhancement Und Die Disability Studies. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012, pp.147-163.

Scully J. Deaf identities in disability studies: with us or without us?. In: Watson, N; Roulstone, A; Thomas, C, ed. Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. Abingdon, Oxon: UK: Routledge, 2012, pp.109-121.

Scully JL. Disability and the thinking body. In: Gonzalez-Arnal, S., Jagger, G., Lennon, K, ed. Embodied Selves. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp.139-159.

Scully JL. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Cultural Understandings of Disability. In: Anderson, J., Philips, J, ed. Disability and Universal Human Rights: Legal, ethical and conceptual implications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Utrecht: Universiteit

Scully JL. Auf moralisch unsicherem Terrain: ueber Embodiment, Enhancement, und Normativitaet. In: Eilers, M., Grueber, K., Rehmann-Sutter, C, ed. Verbesserte Koerper - Gutes Leben?: Bioethik, Enhancement Und Die Disability Studies. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012, pp.147-163.

Scully J. Deaf identities in disability studies: with us or without us?. In: Watson, N; Roulstone, A; Thomas, C, ed. Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies. Abingdon, Oxon: UK: Routledge, 2012, pp.109-121.

Scully JL. Disability and the thinking body. In: Gonzalez-Arnal, S., Jagger, G., Lennon, K, ed. Embodied Selves. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp.139-159.

Scully JL. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Cultural Understandings of Disability. In: Anderson, J., Philips, J, ed. Disability and Universal Human Rights: Legal, ethical and conceptual implications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, 2012, pp.71-84.

Woods S. Writing on the body: The modern morality of the tattoo. In: Arp, R, ed. Tattoos – Philosophy for Everyone: I Ink, Therefore I Am. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. In Press.

Scully JL. Disability and the pitfalls of recognition. In: McLaughlin, J., Phillimore, P., Richardson, D, ed. Contesting Recognition: Culture, Identity and Citizenship. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp.36-52.

Hagger EL, Woods S, ed. Good Death?: Law and Ethics in Practice. Ashgate, 2011. Submitted

McLaughlin J, Phillimore P, Richardson D, ed. Contesting Recognition: Culture, Identity and Citizenship. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Scully JL. ‘Choosing disability’, symbolic law, and the media. Medical Law International 2011, 11(3), 197-212.

Scully JL. ‘Choosing disability’, symbolic law, and the media. Medical Law International 2011, 11(3), 197-212.

Scully J. Hidden labor: disabled/nondisabled encounters, agency and autonomy. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2010, 3(2), 25-42.