Call for Papers

We welcome proposals for 15-20 minute papers or suggestions for panels of 3 or 4 papers, Offers of performances or installations are also invited on any aspect of the creative intersections between blindness and the arts. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- Audio description: art form or instruction manual?

- Creative ways of reading: Braille, audiobooks, large print

- Depictions of blindness in literature, visual art, performance and film: pitfalls and possibilities

- Metaphors of Blindness vs Embodied Experience: a creative tension?

- Museums and Galleries: Curating and Displaying Art and Artefacts for and by Blind people

- Blindness and Visual Culture: A Creative Contradiction?

- Histories of Blindness and their Creation

- Translating Blindness: linguistic and cultural comparisons

- Non-Visual Arts: Music and Sculpture

- Creative Practices and Adaptive Technologies (past and present)

- The Creative Possibilities of Blindness

The conference, which will take place on June 28-30, 2015 at Royal Holloway’s campus in Egham, Surrey, is co-organized by Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway) and Vanessa Warne (University of Manitoba). We are pleased to announce that the conference will feature three plenary speakers, Prof Georgina Kleege (UC Berkeley), Prof Stephen Kuusisto (Syracuse University) and Zina Weygand. We plan to host a number of cultural events, including a Blindness in Fiction Writers’ Roundtable (featuring novelist and poet, Naomi Foyle and French novelist Romain Villet), a tactile museum tour, and an audio-described film screening. 

Thanks to the generous support of our funders, there will only be a small charge to attend the conference and lunch and daytime refreshments will be provided. (In addition delegates may expect to pay between approx £100 and £120 in total for dinners and 2 nights' B and B accommodation.)

A 200-word abstract together with a 50-word presenter biographical statement and details of any AV and access requirements should be sent to Vanessa Warne ( by 15 October 2014.