Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
City of Second SightNineteenth-Century Boston and the Making of American Visual Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Justin T. Clark

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638737

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638737.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Discovering the Blind

Discovering the Blind

(p.140) 5 Discovering the Blind
City of Second Sight

Justin T. Clark

University of North Carolina Press

In the 1820s, liberal Protestant reformers encouraged popular sympathy for those denied the miracle of vision. Establishing the nation’s first school for the blind, the Perkins School, in 1829, Unitarian reformers hoped to not only help the disabled, but to instill greater respect among the sighted for the moral and mental resource of vision. Yet the following decade, as visual didacticism proved a poor match for the deepening urban crisis and the rise of popular spectacle, reformers found a new role for the blind as exemplars of urban transcendence, capable of navigating the city without vision while avoiding its sensual lures. Even so, a number of Perkins’ students found work as autobiographers and clairvoyants, undermining the sensationalist psychology that underlay visual didacticism.

Keywords:   Perkins School, Blindness, Clairvoyance, Blind autobiography, Sensationalist psychology

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .