Virtual Talk at Cary Memorial Library
I am excited to present “The Tap, Tapping of the Blind Man’s Cane from Joyce to Today” as a guest speaker at the historic Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, MA. This will be virtual, free, and open to the public. Register HERE!
Dr. M. Leona Godin, author of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness will talk about the history of the white cane, the fascinating science of echolocation, and the stigmas blind people face. While canes have been used for much of human history, the design and uses of the white cane is recent as of the mid-1900’s. And while studies on echolocation in bats began, with some skepticism, in the 1940’s, the science of how humans use it is only now beginning to be taken more seriously. Blind individuals have been dissuaded using echolocation or “facial vision,” and even at times Braille, because of a fear of alienation, but it is one way someone blind can “see.” As sighted people use light reflection off of surfaces to see, so too can blind individuals see with sound reflection. While media may depict individuals using this method as “supernatural,” or even the common thought of a blind person’s senses being “heightened” (like the marvel character Daredevil), these are some of the stigmas blind individuals face. These stigmas can be dehumanizing, from the discounted accounts of blind traveler James Holman to praising someone for achieving otherwise quotidian tasks. Join Dr. M. Leona Godin for this riveting journey through the scientific, artistic, and cultural scopes of blindness.
Leona Godin is a writer, performer, educator, and the author of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural history of Blindness (Pantheon, 2021). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, O Magazine, Catapult, and other print and online publications. She produced two plays: “The Star of Happiness” about Helen Keller’s time performing in vaudeville, and “The Spectator and the Blind Man,” about the invention of braille. Godin holds a PhD in English, and besides her many years teaching literature and humanities courses at NYU, she has lectured on art, accessibility, technology, and disability at such places as Tandon School of Engineering, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the American Printing House for the Blind. Her online magazine exploring the arts and sciences of smell and taste, Aromatica Poetica, publishes writing and art from around the world.
Please register for this meeting and you’ll receive the zoom link in the confirmation and reminder emails – make sure to check your spam folder for them! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
This program is sponsored by Lexington Living Landscapes and the Cary Library Foundation.
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