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Grant number like: FT-264962-19

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Eduardo Ledesma
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2019 – 6/30/2019

Blind Cinema: Visually Impaired Filmmakers and Technologies of Sight

A book-length study and companion website about visually impaired filmmakers and their use of various technologies, which illuminate the experience of blindness through film.

"Blind Cinema," for which I seek an NEH Summer Stipend, has two key aims: first, to raise critical awareness about the existence of blind filmmakers, and second, to establish the contours of a blind cinematic style through theories of the gaze and haptic film. It is the first book to study how visually impaired filmmakers use digital media both to make visible the experience of disability and to destabilize stereotypes about the blind. My analysis of films by blind and visually impaired directors, as well as of collaborations between blind and sighted filmmakers, shows how the aesthetics and content of these works represent the experience of blindness. I combine film and disability studies approaches to consider how new technologies of vision are giving blind filmmakers access to the tools and techniques of filmmaking and how their innovations are transforming our experience of film.