Darkness, Visible: The History of Blindness

Selina Mills attends a conference on the history of blindness, now a dynamic field of study.

Night and Darkness: a blind girl reads to her family in a 19th-century illustrationBlindness and its history have become fashionable. August saw the opening of Touching the Book, an exhibition at Birkbeck, University of London chronicling the history of raised reading before the advent of Braille. Later this year the National Portrait Gallery is dedicating a room to ‘Facing Blindness’, portraits of blind and visually imapolitics. In June more than 100 academics attended one of the first major international conferences on the history of blindness and blind and partially sighted people.

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