Call for Papers: 'THE ALL-SEEING EYE': Vision and Eyesight Across Time and Cultures Workshop, 2018

The workshop will take place at Swansea University on Wednesday 11 April 2018. It is hosted by the Research Group for Health, History and Culture, and the Effaced from History? research network on facial appearance.

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A call for papers has been issued for this workshop which will explore medical, social, and cultural meanings of the eye and vision in contemporary and historical perspective. Vision has often provoked fascination within societies and cultures as the most revered sense. In Western Europe, the eye has been viewed scientifically as the most ‘exquisite’ organ, or spiritually as a ‘window to the soul’. These positions have had an influence on how the eye has been perceived, both as a vital organ and, by implication, one that needed to be protected. Whilst the eye could bring delight to its holder, and be symbolic in a variety of ways, it could also, when lost, incur significant impairment. The workshop will explore this vision impairment and correction, and the extent to which sight loss has been stigmatised. It will welcome papers that explore eyesight and its meanings across time and place, to encourage trans-historical and interdisciplinary discussion. Possible subjects include but are not restricted to:

  • Concepts of the eye within scientific, medical, theological or cultural texts and images
  • Vision in relation to the other senses
  • Testing vision
  • Experiences of sight loss, total and partial
  • Restoring and regaining vision
  • Eye loss: stigma and disfigurement
  • Eye contact, staring and social interaction
  • Adornments to the eye: cosmetics, masks, vision aids and prosthetics
  • Visual and literary representations of the eye
  • Challenges to ableist narratives relating to sight loss and visual impairment.

The All-Seeing Eye - D Turner workshop‌The workshop will take place at Swansea University on Wednesday 11 April 2018. It is hosted by the Research Group for Health, History and Culture, and the Effaced from History? research network on facial appearance.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers. Proposals of no more than 200 words, together with the name and institutional affiliation of the speaker should be sent to Gemma Almond at gemma.almond@sciencemuseum.ac.uk or 655580@swansea.ac.uk. The closing date for submissions is 15 December 2017.

RIAH branding - long The workshop is convened by Professor David Turner, Swansea University and PhD candidate Gemma Almond, Swansea University and the Science Museum, London.