Berkeley English Lecturers and Postdocs

Georgina Kleege

Georgina Kleege


email for appointment

Professional Statement

Georgina Kleege joined the English department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003 where in addition to teaching creative writing classes she teaches courses on representations of disability in literature, and disability memoir.  Her collection of personal essays, Sight Unseen (1999) is a classic in the field of disability studies.  Essays include an autobiographical account of Kleege’s own blindness, and cultural critique of depictions of blindness in literature, film, and language.  Many of these essays are required reading for students in disability studies, as well as visual culture, education, public health, psychology, philosophy and ophthalmology .  Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller (2006) transcends the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction to re-imagine the life and legacy of this celebrated disability icon.  Kleege’s latest book, More Than  Meets the Eye: What Blindness Brings to Art (2018)is concerned with blindness and visual art: how blindness is represented in art, how blindness affects the lives of visual artists, how museums can make visual art accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired.  She has lectured and served as consultant to art institutions around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

Kleege received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Division of Arts and Humanities in 2013, and from the UCB campus as a whole in 2016.

More than Meets the Eye: What Blindness Brings to Art
More than Meets the Eye: What Blindness Brings to Art

In the quarter century following the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, art museums, along with other public institutions, were tasked with making their facilities and collections more accessible to people with disabilities. Although b....(read more)

Home for the Summer
Home for the Summer

a novel.....(read more)

Sight Unseen
Sight Unseen

A collection of personal essays about blindness and sight.....(read more)

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

“look into My Eyes” (essay. Phi Kappa Phi Forum  summer 2020, 22-3.



“What the Ramp Teaches” (blog post/essay)


“Haptic Explorations: What, How and Why.” (digital cata

logue essay)

                        For the “Jewish Folktales Retold: The Artist as Maggid” exhibit

                        At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco.


"On the Borders of the Wild" (essay)Raritan, (Vol. 18, No. 4), pp. 102-15.

"Wearing the Mask Inside Out" (essay) Social Research (Vol. 67, No. 1), pp. 47-59.

"Beauty and the Blind" (essay) The UNESCO Courier (July/August, 2001), pp. 47-8.

“Charity Begins at Home” (essay) Ragged Edge(Vol. 23, Nos. 2 & 3), pp. 20-25.

"Memory Works Both Ways" (essay) Southwest Review, (Vol. 87, Nos. 2 & 3), pp. 167-200.

“A Good Place for Aliens” (essay) The Yale Review, (Vol. 91, No. 4), pp. 99-108.

“Darwin Thinks” (essay) Southwest Review (Vol. 89, No. 4), pp. 530-547.

“Blindness and Visual Culture: An Eye-Witness Account” (essay) The Journal of Visual Culture, (Vol. 4, No. 2), pp. 179-190.

“What we Talk About When We Talk About Art” (keynote address) Beyond Occularcentrism Symposium, The Tate Modern Museum, November, 2002.

“The Subject At Hand” (keynote address) Art Beyond Sight Conference, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October, 2005.

“Brain Work: A Meditation on the Painting of Katherine Sherwood”

            Golgi’s Door (National Academy of Sciences)  pp. 8-18. 

            “blind Imagination: Pictures into Words"

            Southwest Review (Vol. 93, No. 2)  pp. 227-39.

"Audio Description Described." Representations, Vol. 135, No. 1, pp.89-101.

“Dear Readers: My History with Aural Texts.” (four-part blog post)

                        For the “Common Touch” exhibit, The Library Company, Philadelphia,


“On Being as I Am” (online essay) Lighthouse Interpoint






Current Research
creative nonfiction; disability autobiography; blindness and visual art.

English Department Classes