Gallaudet University Press

11:1 Monday, January 26, 2009

Coda Codes

A New Collection Explores the Linguistic and Cultural
Characteristics of Hearing Members of Deaf Families

“Each of us who grew up with deaf parents have both a personal story as well as pieces of larger stories—about being Deaf and about being hearing,” shares Paul Preston in his foreword to Hearing, Mother Father Deaf: Hearing People in Deaf Families, the 14th volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series. “Codas (children of deaf adults) are not only becoming more visible in the Deaf and Hearing worlds, but we are actively participating and taking charge of telling our stories. We are researchers, actors, musicians, stand-up comedians, artists, playwrights, and novelists. We are educating our parents, our families, hearing outsiders—and ourselves—about who we are. We are exploring and learning about our family histories of oppression, ingenuity, and resilience. Our stories are outrageously funny, heartbreaking, adventurous, and exasperating.”

In Hearing, Mother Father Deaf, editors Michele Bishop and Sherry L. Hicks explore the rich linguistic and cultural characteristics of hearing members of Deaf families. Topics range from bimodal bilingualism in adults; the cultural and linguistic behaviors of hearing children from Deaf families; sign and spoken language contact phenomena; and issues of self-expression, identity, and experience.

Preston concludes with: “This volume represents an important milestone in the history of hearing children of deaf parents. The editors and contributors have expanded our understanding of the complexities of the bilingual, bimodal, and bicultural identities of codas. Not only by examining the once-suspect topic of coda talk, but also by pursuing cultural and linguistic differences across geographic boundaries and Deaf communities as well.”

Read more in chapter eight, “Exploring Linguistic and Cultural Identity: My Personal Experience,” and order Hearing, Mother Father Deaf at a 20% savings off the regular price. For online orders, type “JAN2009” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the “checkout” button. You may also order by mail.

Anne T. Quartararo’s Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France was recognized in Reference & Research Book News: “Quartararo explores the history and evolution of the Deaf community in France from 1830 to 1900. Her aim is to describe its genesis, examine its identity as a minority culture, and analyze how deaf people during this period developed strategies to defend their society. She discusses how Abbé de l’Epée promoted the education of deaf students, how the movement that celebrated sign language fostered the Société Centrale, and how hearing educators at the Milan Congress in 1880 adopted oralism to defeat deafness and prohibit sign language. Deaf activism in the late nineteenth century resulted. Document sources include those from the French National Archives, pamphlets, and periodicals from the nineteenth century.” Read more about this exciting new study in chapter five, “Molding a Deaf Identity: Deaf Leaders, Banquets, and Community Rituals, 1830 to 1880”, and order Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France.

Metapsychology Online Reviews recently highlighted Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community, stating: “This book is a companion volume to Through Deaf Eyes, the PBS documentary on deaf history and the rise of the deaf community. It is a little over 150 pages long and is full of historical photographs, illustrating the history of deaf people in America and Europe. It starts at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the first attempts to create schools for deaf people. It moves onto the creation of communities of deaf people, and the role of sign language in creating those communities. The book finishes with some of the more recent debates over deafness as a disability and the struggle to get a deaf president of Gallaudet University. It is written by knowledgeable scholars and so has reliable information in it; it takes a point of view very sympathetic to deaf people, but remains neutral on some contemporary controversies. It would be useful to anyone looking for a primer in the rise of education for deaf people and other features of their social treatment. It should be especially useful for high school students in some social studies classes. It has a good index and a useful page of books for further reading.” View the table of contents, and read both the preface and chapter one online. Order Through Deaf Eyes here.

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