The Holman Society Presents
Selected Reflections On the Physical and Moral Condition of the Blind (1825):
A Conversation and Performance
Written By Therese-Adele Husson
Introduced by Catherine J. Kudlick
Performed by Carrie PaffFriday, June 27th, 2008 at 8:00 PM
The East Bay Center for the Blind
2928 Adeline St in Berkeley$5-20 sliding scale at the door
No one turned away for lack of funds.
The Holman Society invites you to a live performance of selected passages
from Reflections: Writings of a Young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France (NYU Press 2001). This brief yet surprisingly expansive treatise on blindness was probably dictated in desperation to one or more sighted scribes in the early nineteenth-Century French equivalent of a renter's résumé, only to be rejected, set aside, and lost for almost two-hundred years. The blind author's first-hand observations about blind people and their social status, rules for marriage, prospects for romance, and appropriate pedagogical approaches paint a portrait of a bygone place and time with hauntingly familiar themes which remain with us to this day. The style is 100% over-the-top, unedited nineteenth century, translated French hyperbole, with all of the linguistic curlicues and semantic serifs one could possibly wish for. Blind women are referred to as "female companions of misfortune," and chapters have titles such as "On the Inflection of a Sweet Voice on the Heart and Senses of a Blind Person." Nevertheless, an amazing amount of what she has to say strikes strong resonant chords in today's blind world. Even when her observations seem antique or deliberately demure, her writing raises deep questions as to why her experience was what it was, and why ours is what it is (or isn't).
We welcome Carrie Paff - a treasure of stage and screen - who will read for us, and Professor Catherine J. Kudlick - the manuscript's re-discoverer and translator - who will help us to place Adele Husson in her proper historical context.
The relaxed wine and cheese reception following the presentation will be an
extraordinary opportunity for open discussion and exchange of ideas. We
anticipate attendees from a rich maelstrom of interlocking backgrounds
including disability and gender studies, history, disability rights,
rehabilitation and rehabilitation engineering, and of course the Holman
Society and broader Bay Area blind community.
This event promises to be thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking,
and follows in the informal, yet deeply stimulating tradition of the Holman
Society. We hope you will attend.
Monday, June 23, 2008
"Reflections On the Physical and Moral Condition of the Blind (1825)"
This sounds like an interesting evening; if you're in the Bay Area, check it out (and report back!). From H-Disability (links added):