Proposals are sought for a Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly devoted to the exploration of the relationship between visual disability and the creative arts. This issue, guest edited by Dr. Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway University) and Dr. Vanessa Warne (University of Manitoba), tentatively titled ‘Blindness Arts,’ will examine cultural representations of blindness and blind people; the cultural experiences of visually disabled people; and cultural work produced by visually disabled creators.
Topics to be explored include but are not limited to: blindness and sculpture, music, dance, theatre, photography and other ‘visual’ arts; the evolving practice and cultural significance of audio description; accessible art works and exhibits; creative writing’s longstanding engagement with experiences of blindness; creativity in the context of institutionalization; material histories of blindness and creativity; and blindness and book design.
Possible approaches to this topic include:
Investigations of how a non-visual relationship with the world has stimulated artistic creation by asking what the art produced by blind practitioners can tell both the non-blind and the blind about the creative potential of blindness and the processes of artistic creation.
Consideration of the historical and cultural reasons why the subject of blindness has fascinated writers, artists, and film makers and to explore the relationship between creative representations of blindness and lived experience.
Examinations of the history of the creative potential of the paraphernalia of blindness and exploration of ways in which assistive technologies and practices (such as Braille, audio description and tactile images) have been used in creative work.
Explorations of the consumption of art, very broadly defined, by visually disabled people, to document and theorize experiences, and to apply knowledge of these experiences to the analysis of social attitudes, institutions and practices.
Submissions are invited from all disciplines, including cultural studies, and can include but are not restricted to research articles, personal accounts, creative works, and case studies of projects or initiatives. Proposals of 500 words are due September 15, 2016. Authors will be notified by October 31, 2016 of the outcome of the selection process. The due date for completed submissions (maximum of 6,000 words) is May 1, 2017. Please send proposals to Hannah Thompson. Thank you!