Finding Blindness International Constructions and Deconstructions
This edited volume explores blindness as a construct with which we the contributors engage as part of our social existence and/or academic research. Irrespective of eye conditions, or the lack thereof, blindness is an understanding at which we have all come to arrive. On the way to this conceptual point, which is in any case unlikely ever to be fixed, we have passed or visited many formative cultural stations.
In the terms of autocritical disability studies (i.e. an explicitly embodied development of critical disability studies), these cultural stations include key moments in education and training; the reflective pursuits of philosophy, aesthetics, and cultural theory; literary works such as autobiography, novels, short stories, drama, and poetry; visual texts ranging from photography to postage stamps; technological developments like television, computer applications, and social media; value systems defined by family and/or religion; and the social phenomenon of hate and war. Each chapter in this volume engages with two of these cultural stations; some ostensibly if not profoundly positive or indeed negative and some that contradict each other within and across chapters.
This book will be of interest to all scholars and students of disability studies, sociology, education, and health.
Introduction: Cultural Stations of Blindness: From Ignorance to Understandings
Part 1: The Directions and Redirections of Education: Critical Spaces and Events
Chapter One - Affective Possibilities of Everyday Encounters with Blindness
Chapter Two – From PowerPoint to Zoom: Interrogating the Gaze in Teaching at a Small South African University
Chapter Three – Blindness as a Social Construct in Cyprus: What Can We Learn from Cultural Events and Artefacts Aiming to Claim Rights, Celebrate, or Prevent Blindness?
Simoni Symeonidou and Kyriakos Demetriou
Chapter Four – The Flag, A Rap and The Ethnographer: Looking for ‘Indianness’ within Visual Impairment
Mahashewta Bhattacharya and Bijendra Singh
Chapter Five – Blind Student as a Bypassed Reader: Analyzing Blindness in Required Reading for Schools in Poland
Part II: The Blind Reading the Blind: Politics and Religion
Chapter Six – From World War to Social Integration and Beyond: Experiences of Blindness in Twentieth-Century Italy
Ugo Pavan Dalla Torre
Chapter Seven – A State of Spiritual Derangement: Blindness in Seventh-Day Adventist Theology, 1860s-1950s
Chapter Eight – Faith Healing and Blindness Across Cultures: Disability, Religion, and the Scientific Milieu
Chapter Nine – The Acceptance and Transcendence of Blindness: A Collaborative Autoethnography
Neng Priyanti and Taufiq Effendi
Chapter Ten – Encountering the Myth, Transforming Utopian Realities of Blindness: Counter Narrative Notes on Intersectional Interdependence and Critical Hermeneutics
Chapter Eleven – Crip Gazes: Eye Mutilations and the ‘Biopolitics of Debilitation’ in Lina Meruane and Nicole Kramm
Carlos Ayram and Marta Pascua Canelo
Part III: Stage and the Page: Performance, Dramatics, and Literary Representation
Chapter Twelve – Sighted-Blindness-Consultants and the Ever-Lasting Station of Blindness
Chapter Thirteen – Touching the Rock: Masculinity and Macular Degeneration
Chapter Fourteen – Bringing a Brick to Market: Pedagogical Perspectives on the Discordant Interplay between Critical and Cultural Stations of Blindness
Chapter Fifteen – To Boldly Go Where No One (Sighted) has Gone Before: Positive Portrayals of Blindness in Star Trek: TNG and H. G. Wells’s ‘The Country of the Blind’
Chapter Sixteen – Revisiting Ruins of Blindness: A Sketched Out Silhouette