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PhallaciesHistorical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity$
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Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, Jr.

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190458997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190458997.001.0001

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Making Useful Men

Making Useful Men

The Roman Rosell Institute and Asylum for the Blind, 1933–1950

(p.263) 12 Making Useful Men

Rebecca Ellis

Oxford University Press

In 1884, Thomas Drysdale approached the powerful but embattled organization of elite women, the Capital City Beneficence Society in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with an offer to fund a school for the blind that the women would organize and run. The society initially welcomed the opportunity, but when international attitudes toward female authority affected their ability to pursue Drysdale’s plan for the new institution, the women at the society converted the program to one that would more directly address their own political agenda. Instead of a school, the society developed a small classroom where handpicked blind children from their orphanages, mostly male, were trained in order that the boys serve as symbols to the society’s detractors who claimed that as women they were incapable of cultivating young male citizens using modern educational techniques.

Keywords:   education, blindness, children, orphanages, Capital City Beneficence Society, citizens, institutions, Argentina

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