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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Zina Weygand - the Blind in France

When I started working on French representations of blindness in late 2011, I kept encountering the name Zina Weygand. It is testimony both to Zina's international reputation and to her generosity as a scholar that several people recommended that I contact her directly. Zina responded immediately and with exceptional warmth and generosity to my queries. Since that initial e-mail she has sent me many suggestions of books and articles that I should read, and people that I should contact. She came to meet me whilst I was working at the Association Valentin Hauy earlier this month and we enthusiastically shared our thoughts on French blindness over lunch.

Zina in the Valentin Hauy library, with her book, Vivre sans Voir (Paris: Creaphis, 2003). Translated as: The Blind in French Society from the Middle Ages to the Century of Louis Braille (Stanford U.P., 2009)

Here you can listen to an interview (in French) with Zina on France Inter in which she talks about the changing role of the blind in French Society, from the middle ages to the nineteenth century.
As well as being the leading scholar in the field, Zina is passionate about her subject and its importance. Thanks to her warmth and energy, she has created an international network of researchers on blindness who enjoy very rich and fruitful exchanges. Yesterday I felt honoured that she introduced me to many of them during a research meeting I attended at Paris 7. I am looking forward to more fruitful exchanges in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, you're so lucky to get to talk to Zina. I've been reading her book (in English translation) and it's a pretty detailed historical work. This is the first post of your blog that I've seen, so look forward to investigating what else is around Hannah - I'm finishing a book on the philosophy of blindness for Reaktion right now.

    Mark Paterson