Kevin Goldstein

PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, GSAS

Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (January 18 - April 14):

Goldstein’s dissertation identifies previously unexamined links between blind writers, visual artists, musicians, and actors, specifically in the context of their thematic treatment of blindness itself. The project centers on the tension between, on the one hand, a tendency toward assimilation and the suppression of difference, and on the other hand, a drive to substantiate a distinct identity and culture via artistic practice. While some artists cease work after going blind, affirming the deeply ingrained complex of vision, knowledge, and creativity, others conceive of blindness as a source of inspiration and affinity with other blind artists, alive and dead. Goldstein argues that this, in part, forms the basis of a multilingual, transnational blind culture. The act of fostering a dialogue both within and without the text, literary or otherwise, becomes a profoundly political gesture. Blindness is not simply a social problem, but a source of identity and of artistic creation. 


Last Name
PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, GSAS
Fellows Type
GRI Fellowship
GRI Fellows semester
Spring 2016