2:1 Monday, January 10, 2000
"Do you know the world as a deaf man finds it?...The place to test the success of an educational system is not in the schoolroom nor in the conversations over the social tea cups, but out where men toil and earn their daily bread"
- Educator J. Schulyer Long, from a 1931 speech to a convention of school administrators
The hundred years between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century was a time of remarkable progress and unconscionable discrimination for deaf men and women chasing the American Dream. Deaf people benefited from the early educational approach of teaching both American Sign Language and written English but were shackled by the twentieth century emphasis on "oralism," which forbade the use of sign language. Similarly, the prospect of greater employment opportunities was stifled in 1906 by official exclusion from the Civil Service. Historian Robert M. Buchanan expertly chronicles and analyzes these events in his recent Press publication Illusions of Equality: Deaf Americans in School and Factory, 1850-1950.
This month, we offer Chapter 6 of Buchanan's study, "Conspiracy of Silence:" Contesting Exclusion and Oral Hegemony. Read about the corrupt Texas School for the Deaf and the Texas Association of the Deaf's successful campaign to remove its superintendent in 1938. Buchanan also describes in moving detail the exclusion of deaf people from President Roosevelt's New Deal programs, and their exhaustive efforts to regain their rights. You can acquire Robert M. Buchanan's Illusions of Equality at a special discount. Click here to order your special discounted copy now.
After a three year hiatus, Sign Language Studies will resume quarterly publication this Fall under the direction of Editor David F. Armstrong. Founded in 1972 by William C. Stokoe, SLS paced the study of sign linguistics for over twenty years; the Press's recent acquisition of the journal, coupled with Dr. Armstrong's long association with Dr. Stokoe, promises to return SLS to its previous standing. Read more about the history of SLS, or subscribe now at your special discounted rate.
David F. Armstrong's Original Signs: Gestures, Signs, and the Sources of Language was named this month by CHOICE magazine as one of its Outstanding Academic Books of the Year.
Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship, the provocative collection of essays edited by John Vickrey Van Cleve, and The Cry of the Gull, the memoir of French actress Emmanuelle Laborit, are now available from the Press in paperback.