Infusing Disability in the Curriculum: The Case of Saramago's "Blindness"

Liat Ben-Moshe


What are the implications of teaching disability as a pure metaphor? Disability often has negative connotations when used metaphorically, while the lived experience of disability can be quite different. In order to demonstrate this contradiction, I discuss some pedagogical aspects of teaching the novel, Blindness, by Jose Saramago. First, I exhibit possible interpretations of the parable that are useful for teaching. Then, I demonstrate the ways blindness is constructed as Otherness and its possible implications for instruction. Finally, I offer several strategies by which Blindness, and other literary portrayals, can be used in the classroom in a critical manner, one that values human variation and diversity.


Disability Studies; Literature; Pedagogy; Blindness

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2006 Liat Ben-Moshe

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)