Prosthetic Embodiment: The lived experience of health, disability and medical technology from the 1970s the present.


  • Dr Neil Pemberton

    University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Project summary

Prosthetic Embodiment explores how the bodily and social experience of learning to use and live with prosthetics has changed since the 1970s. In this period, people who use prostheses collaborated with health professionals and manufacturers to remake prosthetic aids in ways that have transformed experiences of disability. The project investigates the experiences of four main user groups: Paralympians whose celebrated performances have served as the vanguard for a 'post-human' ideal; wounded soldiers whose recovery has represented a technological transcendence of the human costs of war; everyday users who developed daily practices to negotiate the possibilities and challenges presented by the new artificial legs; and users of recycled British prosthetics in the Gambia who shaped and adapted recycled prosthetics to suit their own circumstances. Following the artificial legs and their users, we can better understand the diverse ways how people incorporate medical technologies in their daily lives.