Lecture: ‘Blindness or the complex layers of touch’, VU Amsterdam (online)

05 maart 2021

It is often believed that a sensory disability like blindness leads to a compensatory sharpening of the remaining senses. I would rather speak of a creative reorganization of the entire sensorium, resulting in a whole set of uncommon, multisensory practices. To illustrate this ‘blind knowledge’, I will draw on my own experience as a blind person but also on examples from literature and art. I will thereby mainly focus on the complex uses of touch – often interacting with hearing - in e.g. tactile reading, ‘facial vision’ and ‘echolocation’ in spatial navigation.

This online guest lecture is part of the ‘Knowing by Sensing’ Master Course organized by the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam.