Kate E. Tunstall
Blindness and Enlightenment
My presentation draws on some of the material explored in my book, Blindness and Enlightenment (2011), which focuses on the recourse to the figure of the man born blind in philosophical and literary writing in French in the early modern and Enlightenment periods, from Montaigne to Diderot, via Descartes, Gassendi, and La Mothe Le Vayer. I’ll also seek to go beyond that material by briefly discussing blindness and blind women in Godard’s JLG/JLG (1994).
Kate E. Tunstall is Clarendon Associate Professor of French at the University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow at Worcester College. She writes mainly about the literature, aesthetics, art and philosophy of 18th-century France, Diderot in particular. She has also written about the 19th-century novel and silent film. She is the author of Blindness and Enlightenment: An Essay (2011); she edited the volume Self-Evident Truths? Human Rights and the Enlightenment (The Oxford Amnesty Lectures, 2012); and (with Caroline Warman) she translated the multi-media edition of Diderot’s ‘Rameau’s Nephew’ (2014, 2nd ed. 2016), which won the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Prize for Digital Resources. She and Katie Scott (Courtauld Institute) have just published a new translation of Diderot’s Regrets sur ma vieille robe de chambre in the latest issue of the Oxford Art Journal (2016).
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