(Re)constructing the amputee body: Material, phantom, and narrative dimensions

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


They weren’t cutting my leg off, they were taking away a useless piece of flesh that wasn’t fulfilling its function and replacing it with something made of plastic and metal that did. (‘Adam’ – participant)

There is extensive research on narrative identities, including narrative illness identities; less attention has been paid to ‘narrative bodies’. This paper will use interview data to explore the ways in which people who have undergone lower limb amputations (re)construct their own post-surgery bodies. In addition to the material possibilities for reconstruction (particularly the use of prosthetic limbs), bodies can be constructed and reconstructed through the stories that the interview participants tell. These stories can redefine the body’s very boundaries by working to include or exclude different iterations of the limb: from the amputated part to the prosthetic replacement to the phantom sensations that remain.
Period17 Jan 2020
Event titleDe/Constructing the Body: Ancient and Modern Dynamics: Fragmentation and Fusion
Event typeWorkshop
LocationLiverpool, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational