Gallaudet University Press
2:10, October 31, 2000

Ask the Author

We're excited to introduce a new feature to the e-newsletter this month, "Ask the Author," an opportunity for readers to submit questions to the authors of their favorite Press Books.

Harry Lang, author of A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell will christen "Ask the Author" by fielding your questions about his critically acclaimed political history of the teletypewriter. A Phone of Our Own tells the story of the three deaf men who developed the technology that made TTY efficient to use and produce, then describes the Deaf community's twenty years of tireless lobbying that forced AT&T and the federal goverment to provide for the distribution of TTYs. You can read more about the book, including chapter one, A Chance Encounter.

Dr. Lang's answers to your questions will appear in the November issue of the e-newsletter. Click on the e-mail address below to submit your question. Be sure to write "Ask Harry Lang" as the subject of your e-mail, and be sure to sign your question with your name, e-mail address, home town, or "anonymous," whichever you prefer. Gallaudet University Press reserves the right to publish only the questions and answers selected by its editors.

Send your questions to
Harry Lang:

Exploring Perception and Language
Around the World

bookcover At the core of the American Deaf community's extraordinary emergence in the past fifty years are two critical achievements: the acceptance of American Sign Language as a genuine language in an English speaking nation, and the recognition by both deaf and hearing people that deaf people are as independent and capable as other human beings. Editor Melanie Metzger sheds new light on these issues of language and perception by examining not only how they have affected the American Deaf community, but also how they affect a diverse sample of deaf populations around the globe. Bilingualism and Identity in Deaf Communities, the sixth volume in the critically acclaimed Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series, delivers an international appraisal of deaf issues unparalled in scope or depth.

"The topics contained in this volume include the wide range of sociolinguistic issues that readers of this series have come to expect," Metzger writes in her introduction. She assembles the work of the field's foremost experts to explore multiple language and self-perception issues in deaf communities of New Zealand, Sweden, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the United States. Sign language interpreting for deaf students in mainstream schools, the worldview of deaf children within their home environments, and minority language policies in Europe are also analyzed in this timely and thorough collection.

Read your exclusive excerpt from Name Signs and Identity in New Zealand by Rachel Locker McKee and David McKee, a study of how name signs reveal the self-perceptions of members of a deaf community; also, exclusive to newsletter subscribers, order Bilingualism and Identity in Deaf Communities at 20% off the regular price.

Library Journal published deserving praise of Cynthia Peters's Deaf American Literature: From Carnival to the Canon in its October 15th issue: "the author's exploration of the storytelling tradition and orality of Deaf literature will make readers think about literature in a broader way; recognizing that in Deaf culture literature has a performance aspect that must be analyzed as deeply as the words and phrases signed. Most importantly, Peters brings readers to the realization that Deaf literature is a fusion of cultures--hearing and nonhearing--in much the same way that the literary traditions of other "minority groups" provide insight into a culture within the larger American literary tradition." Read an excerpt from chapter three of Peters's book, Carnivals as Centers of Deaf Culture.

Judith Abrams's Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli garnered the following acclaim from the Spring 2000 issue of Disability Studies Quarterly: "Judaism and Disability, a beautifully produced volume, is a detailed and careful study of the portrayal of people with a variety of disabilities in Jewish texts, from the earliest writings to about A.D. 500." Read more about the book, or read the introduction.

In addition to inaugurating the newsletter's "Ask the Author" feature, Harry Lang was on the Gallaudet University campus last week, autographing and giving a presentation on A Phone of Our Own. Press author and Professor of Education David Martin was in attendance, as was the president of Gallaudet University, I. King Jordan.

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