Disability History Month - Blindness, Art and Disability Gain: exploring ways of seeing and not seeing in the art gallery

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Disability History Month - Talk with Dr Hannah Thompson

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Chakrabarti Lecture Theatre (JHB 208), John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus


Disability History Month - Blindness, Art and Disability Gain: exploring ways of seeing and not seeing in the art gallery.
Talk with Dr Hannah Thompson.


For this interactive talk Hannah will draw on her research, activism and personal experience to explore and question what it means to see and not see in the art gallery.
What does a non-visual experience of art feel like?
What happens when visitors are encouraged to smell, touch and listen to visual art?
What can blindness teach the sighted world about art appreciation?

The event is being organised by the Staff Disability Network and Equality Diversity and Inclusion team to mark national Disability History Month.

This year’s theme is Disability and Art. Events across the country will highlight artists who have been disabled, artists who have featured disabled people through a social model lens, and also explore the attitudes existing at different times over history towards disabled people through their portrayal in Art.


Dr Hannah Thompson is a Reader in French prose and critical disability studies specialist at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature and alongside disability, she is particularly interested in issues of gender, sexuality and the body.

Hannah’s third book Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction (2017) was published by Palgrave in their Literary Disability Studies series. Her current research explores how access services like creative audio description can benefit all sections of society.

Hannah’s blog Blindspot is based on her experience as a partially blind academic.


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