Archive for the ‘human body’ Category

Joint ICJR/HEAL event, 21st October 2014: Dr Ummni Khan on ‘SM is sick but Kink is cool’

In human body, Meetings on October 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

Joint ICJR/HEAL event on Tuesday 21st October, at 1-3pm in bldg 34/rm 2003, on ‘SM is sick but Kink is cool – exploring ambivalent discourses that surround sadomasochism and health’, with Dr Ummni Khan, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Canada.

Abstract Where does sadomasochism (SM) lie on the spectrum between healthy and unhealthy? This presentation explores scientific, feminist, pop cultural and legal engagements with this question. From Krafft-Ebing’s 1886 tome Psychopathia Sexualis, to the current editions of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the scientific discourse generally accepts mild forms of SM as normal and natural, while more “risky” desires are considered a mental health issue. Feminists continue to debate whether SM – particularly when practiced by submissive women – is a patriarchy-induced infection or an embodied cathartic ritual. In films like Secretary and books like 50 Shades of Grey, pop culture has embraced mild kink as healing within otherwise heteronormative relationships, while often dismissing more hard-core desires as an effect of past trauma. Finally, the legal system sometimes characterizes SM as an unhealthy predilection, drawing explicitly from psychiatric diagnoses of disorder, as well as anti-SM feminist explanations of psychologically damaged women coerced into accepting (and even eroticizing) abuse. Yet a few other cases have found SM to be an acceptable and benign sexuality that, in and of itself, does not indicate criminal or pathological tendencies. Thus, a key goal of this presentation is to map out these disjointed and often contradictory discourses of SM’s status as (un)healthy.

All welcome. Event link available here. For more information please contact Dr David Gurnham D.Gurnham@soton.ac.uk.

Bioethics: Ethics and Law of the Human Body and Body Parts

In 2014, body parts, human body, Human tissue, Organ donation on February 17, 2014 at 8:24 am

I spent my one-semester long Sabbatical (2013-2014) at the Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada (TRU). TRU’s relatively new law school is an exciting place to conduct academic research, and the law school’s faculty is comprised of both established and young legal scholars who are very competent and are already making their mark in various fields of legal scholarship. In addition to the huge stock of relevant materials in their library, they have a very useful and fully-fledged e-library; the law librarian, Mrs Mary Hemmings, was very helpful to me and ensured that I got all the materials I needed for my research. The law school’s move to a new and commodious building, equipped with various teaching and research tools, ensures the comfort and resources necessary to engender useful and original research.

I was privileged to be invited to present weekly seminars on Bioethics at TRU. My seminars focused on the ethical and legal issues arising from the biotechnological utilisation of human cadavers and body parts. Particularly, we focused on the philosophical and theoretical conceptualisations of property, its application to the human body and the ethical implications of such a deployment of property theory. My seminar students were both curious and excited by the various topics I presented, and they asked many questions that heightened the interaction and conversations in class.

A colleague at TRU, Professor Ruby Dhand, kindly invited me to present a lecture to her health law class based on my recent article (Body Parts in Property Theory: An Integrated Framework (2014) 40 J Med Ethics 33) published by the JME, which was part of her lecture materials. Her students read the article and asked critical questions that showed strong engagement with the piece.

The Vice President (Academic) of TRU, together with the Faculty of Law, honoured me with an invitation to present a university-wide lecture on the ethical and legal problems surrounding separated human organs. The arrangement for this lecture could not be finalised before I left, but it is still in process.

Remi Nwabueze