Lenses on Blindness

Essays on Vision Loss in Media, Culture, Religion and Experience


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About the Book

Blindness, or vision loss, is a major medical concern that has also drawn the attention of artists, writers, musicians, mythologists, filmmakers, religions, philosophers and others. Covering everything from pop culture to high culture, this text is an illuminating anthology of essays examining various representations of blindness.

Comprehensive in scope, this collection of essays analyzes depictions and explorations of blindness in many pieces of media. Essays explore blindness in horror films, science fiction literature, high art, superhero fiction, Jewish and indigenous traditions, music and more. This book aims to show how a world of darkness can hold so much light.

About the Author(s)

Sharon Packer, M.D., is a New York City psychiatrist and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Sharon Packer, M.D.

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 225
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8230-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4731-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Sharon Packer, M.D. 1
Sharon Packer, M.D. 5
Sound Over Sight: Depicting Blindness in Horror Films (From a Sound Specialist’s Perspective)
Jeffrey Bullins 33
A Blind Boyhood: Reflections by a Poetry Professor
Reja-e Busailah 44
Blindness in Science Fiction: From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Star Trek’s La Forge—and Much More
Jason W. Ellis 55
Looking at the Unseeing: Blindness in the History of Art
Carlos Espí Forcén 66
Visual Loss in Cinema: A Psychiatrist’s Viewpoint
Fernando Espí Forcén 74
Unsighted Superheroes: Insights from Comics, Films and TV
Jaq Greenspon 83
Pastoral Counseling and Impending Blindness: Vision Loss and a Quest for Meaning
Curtis W. Hart 93
Blinded on the Battlefield: True Superhero Stories of Mikhail Margolin and Al Schmid
George Higham 98
Blindness in the Jewish Tradition: From Written Text to Oral Law to Contemporary Medical Practice
Jerome M. Karp and Howard L. Forman 111
Native Stories About Vision and Impairment: Western Medicine Meets Aboriginal Mythos
Andrew J. McLean 119
Blind African American Musicians: Insights from a Social Psychiatrist
H. Steven Moffic 130
Idioms and Ideas: Meanings and Metaphors
Sharon Packer, M.D. 144
Through the Eye(s) of Tiresias: From Thebes and Beyond
Caleb Puckett 154
“Close your eyes and see”: Blindness and Literature
Eric Sandberg 161
Blindness as Holocaust Metaphor: Elie Wiesel’s A Beggar in Jerusalem and The Forgotten
Eric J. Sterling 168
In Darkness and Light: The Meanings of Blindness in the West
Brenda S. Gardenour Walter 179
Out of Sight: Body and Building from Medical Architecture to ­Post-Modern Haptic Space
Brenda S. Gardenour Walter 188
Filmography 199
Bibliography 201
About the Contributors 205
Index 209