Eva Kerins L&S Arts & Humanities
Blindness and Brilliance: Homer's Disability, Landscapes, and Language
Working from the traditional canon of Homeric work and analysis, this project will explore the implications of disability, particularly blindness, and its relationships to the landscapes and language of Homer. After broadly defining the classical interpretations of disability, the project will explore how blindness is linguistically represented in Homer’s work and analyze, through research, his life and the landscapes he occupied and illustrated. The project will employ the concept of enargeia, a Homeric idea translated by Alice Oswald as “bright unbearable reality,” to contextualize the representation of blindness as divinely manifested, physically mapped, and linguistically metaphorized in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, keeping in mind the likely apocryphal tradition of Homer as a blind poet. As the project analyzes Homeric simile and its relationship to physical landscapes and environments, it will attempt to edify the intersectionality of landscape, language, disability, and the navigation between them, both metaphorically and literally.