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Georgina Kleege

Lecturer SOE
D29E Hearst Annex
Spring 2017, Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:30-5, or by 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 current work 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.



Title Fields
Home Home for the Summer
a novel. ....
9668182_main_full Sight Unseen
A collection of personal essays about blindness and sight. ....
Pic-book7 Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller
As a young blind girl, Georgina Kleege repeatedly heard the refrain, “Why can’t you be more like Helen Keller?” Kleege’s resentment culminates in her book Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller, an ingenious examination of the life of this renowned international figure using 21st-century sensibilities. Kleege’s absorption with Keller originated as an angry respon....

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Home for the Summer, Sausalito: Post-Apollo Press, 1989.

Sight Unseen, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller, Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press 2006.

"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.

Recent English Courses Taught

Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
143N/1 Prose Nonfiction: The Personal Essay Creative Writing Workshops
180A/1 Autobiography: Disability Memoir Special Topics
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
175/1 Literature and Disability Novel
Special Topics
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
143A/2 Short Fiction Creative Writing Workshops
180A/1 Autobiography: Disability Memoir Special Topics

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