“Looking on darkness, which the blind do see”: Blindness, Empathy, and Feeling Seeing

issue_46_1The next issue of the journal Mosaic: a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature has an article taken from research for a chapter on my book on blindness. Called ‘“Looking on darkness, which the blind do see”: Blindness, Empathy, and Feeling Seeing’ it appears in a special issue on ‘Blindness’, 46.3. Look out for it – should be a fantastic special issue (I had the privilege of refereeing one of the articles too, so know how good it will be!). I’ll add a link when the piece goes up online. In the meantime, here is the short abstract:

There is a critical concern with the underlying fascination by the sighted with what the blind “see.” The idea of empathic vision, or “feeling seeing,” reveals an allied inquisitiveness concerning what the blind feel, which this essay pursues through a series of authorial voices, persistent myths, and tropes.

In their turn, the referees for my article were incredibly helpful when it went through peer review: one of them suggested material by Garland-Thomson which has frankly altered the framing of the writing a great deal, in terms of empathy and ‘seeing’ disability (her ‘The politics of staring’ for example has become one of those pieces that remains part of the ‘furniture’ for framing these issues, and I can’t believe I hadn’t found her work before). Also, it helped that one of the referees declared themselves vision impaired.

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