Digital Media: Life-Changing Online

Printing a New Story: Self-representation, Disability, and Digital Fabrication


  • Ursula Hurley The University of Salford



Digital fabrication, disability, complex embodiment, counter-hegemonic narratives, poetic practice


This essay presents an account of an AHRC Connected Communities Innovation project which used creative writing techniques as a process for generating personally meaningful digitally-fabricated objects, probing the potential of making practices to catalyse cultural change with and for disabled people. This account explores the processes and products of experimental approaches to digital fabrication, speculating that they may be understood as a kind of poetic language, capable of generating counter-hegemonic narratives, which may be read as acts of self-representation. Digital fabrication’s literal/metaphorical qualities are read through the lens of ‘complex embodiment’, proposing that this technology may be particularly suited to inclusive auto/biographical expression, empowering disabled people to print new stories for and about themselves.

Author Biography

Ursula Hurley, The University of Salford

Ursula Hurley is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford. She works critically and creatively in experimental and innovative auto/biographical practices, ranging from historical, fictionalized narratives to digitally fabricated artifacts. She is in the process of completing a book-length project on disability and digital fabrication. Email:





Digital Media: Life-Changing Online