[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Call for papers: British Journal of Visual Impairment Special Issue: Visual Impairment & Aesthetics

Lisa Yayla Lisa.Yayla at statped.no
Wed Jan 23 08:48:02 UTC 2013


Dr. David Feeney was so kind as to forward me a call for papers for the upcoming special issue of the British Journal of Visual Impairments. The theme of the issue is Visual Impairment and Aesthetics. Ask you too to please forward it to other lists etc who might be interested.

Link to Bristish Journal of Visual Impairments


Text of call for papers

Special Issue: visual impairment and aesthetics: Drafting the constitution of a sensory
Deadline for Submissions: 1 May 2013
Although the discipline of aesthetics has laboured long under the illusion of its own sociopolitical
removal, increased emphasis on identity politics, individual difference, and inclusiveness has
prompted widespread misgivings about the long-assumed social isolation and ideological neutrality
of the discipline. While recent work within several disciplines within the arts, humanities,
and sciences reflects this increased interest in differential and inclusionary aspects of aesthetic
perception, the contribution of disability studies to this democratic enterprise resists easy demarcation.
In 2002, Mairian Corker and Tom Shakespeare observed that disability theorists had been
too slow to embrace the radical implications for their discipline that are latent in the postmodern
perspective. The decade that has passed since Corker and Shakespeare volunteered their disapproving
verdict has witnessed heightened levels of activity by disability theorists and practitioners
within interdisciplinary explorations of inclusionary approaches to aesthetics, increased
awareness of the potential role of the arts within wider health and well-being agendas, and
mounting critical interest in imaginative renderings of the experience of disability. The forthcoming
Special Issue of the British Journal of Visual Impairment (January 2014), therefore,
represents an opportune means to gauge the extent to which disability studies has overcome its
earlier hesitancy to involve itself in the contemporary repoliticisation of processes of art production
and reception, to identify emerging trends in the fostering of innovative and inclusive art
education and practice environments, and to take stock of work that remains to be done within
this field before it can be meaningfully claimed that individuals with visual impairment have
been unconditionally included.
One aspect of the increased critical scrutiny to which traditional universal aesthetic principles
continue to be subjected, which has an obvious bearing on the drive toward greater inclusion of
individuals with visual impairment, is an increasingly widespread criticism of the privilege traditionally
afforded to vision within art appreciation, the consequent passivity of the spectator, and the
under-utilisation of the non-visual senses. Environmental aesthetics has also deviated from the
motive of furthering understanding and appreciation of landscape and environmental engagement in
ways that prioritise the visual as the modality through which our surroundings register their impression.
Increasing interest in phenomenology within a variety of disciplines has prompted a gradual
displacement of concern for the spectatorial by that for the 'immersive' or 'experiential', while a
corresponding burgeoning of interest in medical humanities has brought a number of traditionally
remote disciplines into innovative forms of theoretical and experiential exchange in order to probe
the interface between disability and art. At the same time, art education institutions and museums
and galleries are beginning to assume greater responsibility for the development of inclusive and
472418JVI31110.1177/0264619612472418The British Journal of Visual ImpairmentCall for Papers
Call for papers
72 The British Journal of Visual Impairment 31(1)
multisensory learning environments and strategies in order to facilitate inclusive art experiences
through greater use of sound, touch, movement, performance, olfaction, installation, and modes of
proprioceptive learning.
In preparation for our Special Issue of the British Journal of Visual Impairment (January 2014),
we invite contributions on the theme of visual impairment and aesthetics. It is intended that the
Special Issue will provide a framework for a cross-disciplinary pooling of resources, ideas, and
examples of good inclusive theory and practice, in order to foster dialogue between such diverse
domains as medical humanities, literary theory, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, education,
museum studies, disability and cultural studies, technology, architecture, technology and product
design, art teaching and therapy, and media and performance art. As we do not wish to delimit the
range of issues that might be addressed, we are inviting systematic and historical studies from all
traditions and on any topic in analytic or applied aesthetics and critical and cultural theory with a
bearing on the lived experiences and/or creative portrayal and engagement of individuals with
visual impairment. The following list of possible concerns may, however, be helpful:
- Is cultural policy capable of facilitating sensation?
- What constitutes an affirmative imaginative rendering of blindness?
- How can we resolve the tension between the prominent role allocated to verbal mediation in
access provision and historical assertions that the impact of art defies description?
- In what ways do the differing sensory configurations among facilitator and participant problematise
the provision of guided aesthetic experiences, and how might these issues be
- How do sighted and non-visual experiences of attraction and aversion differ from one
- Is the cultivation of a sensory democracy within the aesthetic domain a realisable
- In what ways can the entire sensorium inform explorations of the materiality of works of
visual art?
- As we endeavour to apply correctives to the traditional privileging of vision within the art
world, what lessons can we learn from non-Western societies?
- To what extent does novelty account for historical fascination with blindness among sighted
- Is it inevitable that visual media such as cinema will apply the 'deficit model' of disability
to their representations of blindness and low vision?
- In what ways can technological innovation and neurocognitive approaches to creativity and
the arts enhance existing access provision?
- What are the intellectual property implications of the reproduction of artworks in accessible
formats, and how might these be addressed?
- In what ways does receptivity to blindness in the art domain and in wider society differ?
- In what ways can participation in the arts optimise the inclusion of individuals with visual
impairment within a wider health and well-being agenda?
** What varieties of empathetic engagement are afforded by imaginative renderings of visual

impairment in the arts?

Thanks to Dr. Feeney.



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