Subjects of Technology: An Auto-Archeology of Attention Deficit Disorder in Neoliberal Time(s)
(2019) Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies, 19 (2), pp. 105-115.
This essay (re)presents my own experiences living with attention deficit disorder (ADD) as a child and adult to provide a radically historical, contextual, and critical autoethnographic conceptualization of this “learning disability.” Specifically, by building upon Ragan Fox’s “auto-archeological” method, a critical perspective that “unite[s] autoethnography and Foucault’s theories of discourse,” I draw upon institutional artifacts, psychiatric diagnoses, and interviews with close family members to show that ADD is a “technology of the self” that economizes the body in accordance with a distinctly neoliberal temporality. This temporalizing process, I show, is reinforced by a range of other neoliberal technologies of selfhood and ultimately cultivates the very “deficit framework” that ADD diagnoses are aimed at healing. The conclusion questions the legitimacy of ADD outside of the various technological interfaces that make the disability visible as a public problem and considers the intimate connections between neoliberalism, ableism, and the contemporary university. © 2018 SAGE Publications.
affect; attention deficit disorder; auto-archeology; neoliberalism; technologies of the self