History of the Blindness and the Blind
Representations, Institutions, and Archives -- An International Perspective
Paris, France, June 26-30, 2013

Organised by:
the Singer-Polignac Foundation, the Research Centre for the History of Modern Thought at Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, the Fédération des Aveugles et handicapés visuels de France, and the National Institute for the Young Blind

For the first time in nearly 15 years, some 50 blind and sighted scholars from around the world gathered in Paris, France, to share their research on topics related to blindness and the blind in history. Over the course of four days, presentations were given in French, English, Polish, Japanese, Portuguese, and a myriad of other languages on topics including the blind in medieval European festivals, opportunities for resistance among blind studenbts and teachers in residential schools for the blind in the United States, and Chinese blind massage theropists forming guilds to protect their rights. The academic conference included a visit to the school where Louis Braille taught in the 19th century, and to Coupvray, the place of Braille's birth. The hope of this gathering was to build a network of researchers, writers, and archivists who want to preserve and promote the history of the blind around the world.

The organizers of this landmark colloquium invited Dr. Brian R. Miller, a blind historian from the United States, to give a presentation on his own research into blind civil rights movements. During this hour's conversation, Dr. Miller will talk about the meeting in Paris, including a brief description of his own presentation, and an overview of other topics covered by fellow blind and sighted attendees. There will be time to discuss what might be some promising or neglected topics in blind history, as well as the school where Braille taught, his birthplace, traveling around Paris as a blind person, and general observations about global perspectives on blindness. Dr. Miller will explain to listeners where they can find the papers online, as well as links to the video recordings of the presentations, in both French and English. Allonsie!

Presenter: Dr. Brian Miller: