Podcast Episode 30 – The Real Origins of Raised-Point Writing

Philippa Campsie discusses her new article on Charles Barbier, Louis Braille, and the story of raised-point writing.

Episode Image: Raised point writing from Charles Barbier’s Essai sur divers procédés d’expéditive française. The image has three grids. On the left, twenty-five letters of the alphabet are mapped on a 5 by 5 grid. Each letter would correspond to a set of coordinates. In the centre, the grid has a dot at each coordinate. On the right, the grid has a different speech sound at each coordinate.

Download mp3 file here.
Download pdf transcript here.

About Our Guest

Philippa Campsie has a bachelor’s degree in biology and history from Dalhousie University, and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Toronto. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and a freelance writer and researcher who specializes in urban and municipal affairs. She and her husband pursue their longstanding interest in French life and history by writing a blog, Parisian Fields, now in its 11th year. Her interest in Charles Barbier began when she was given access to his papers in Paris, and she pursued her research at the Association Valentin Haüy, the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, and the Musée Louis Braille. Her article, “Charles Barbier: A Hidden Story” was published by Disability Studies Quarterly in June 2021.