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ReproSoc

Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge

 

Hyaesin Yoon

Hyaesin Yoon

Michaelmas Term 2017


Email:

Biography:

My research concerns the variety of ways in which technological assemblages of humans, other animals, and machines mediate the power relations of sex/gender, race, disability, and species in a transnational context. 

I am currently completing my first book project, Prosthetic Memories, which examines the ethics of memory in an age of virtual reality and biotechnology under conditions of neoliberal globalization. By looking at a variety of sites of technological intervention in living organisms – such as tongue-surgery to improve an English accent, machine translation, dog cloning, and human stem cell research across the United States and South Korea – I suggest that substitution, haunting, and crossing are critical modes of embodied memory, which I call “prosthetic memory.”

During my visit to Cambridge, I also aim to begin a new research project exploring feminist and posthumanist approaches to dementia (especially Alzheimer’s disease) against the backdrop of the biomedicalization of aging. This project proceeds from Prosthetic Memories, which in pursuing a new materialist and postcolonial approach has ironically left out “biological” (and neuroscientific) aspects of embodied memory. I’d like to examine how human-machine interactions related to dementia bear upon the conception and organization of self, kinship, and community – paying attention to gendered and potentially queer implications. Some of the provisional research sites for this project include therapy robots and smart cities designed for the elderly.

I am an assistant professor in Gender Studies at Central European University. Trained in the field of rhetoric, I have a broad area of interest including transnational biopolitics, postcolonialisms, critical animal studies, posthumanisms, and feminist science and technology studies, as well as performance and literary theories.