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14:4 Monday, April 30, 2012

Isolating the “Known” from the “Knowers”

A New Groundbreaking Volume Explores the Study of How Deaf “Knowledge” Is Learned

What is epistemology? What is deafness? How does the construct of epistemology relate to that of deafness? Are answers to these questions relevant for developing explanatory theories, conducting rigorous research, or engaging in effective practices? These are the issues examined by 12 noted scholars and researchers, including volume editors Peter V. Paul and Donald F. Moores, in Deaf Epistemologies: Multiple Perspectives on the Acquisition of Knowledge.

“In addressing these questions,” share Paul and Moores, “we consider the range of views proffered by the contributors to this book which are categorized into three major groups of deaf knowledge perspectives. In addition, we examine the validity of the following statements, which are not only influenced by these constructs but also have engendered numerous debates in the scholarly literature on deafness: individuals who are d/Deaf are visual learners; individuals who are d/Deaf learn differently from hearing individuals; anything based on sound/speech is not appropriate for d/Deaf learners; American Sign Language (or any sign language) is the natural language of d/Deaf individuals; the Deaf brain or the Deaf mind is different from the hearing brain or the hearing mind; mainstream theories and research are inappropriate or not sufficient for understanding d/Deaf individuals. Research on these statements is influenced by one’s implicit or explicit epistemology, which drives not only the selection or development of a theoretical framework but also every aspect of the process, from the formulation of questions to the interpretations of results.”

Read more about this new collection in chapter thirteen, “Can It Be a Good Thing to Be Deaf?”, and receive 20% off the regular price with your exclusive subscriber discount. When ordering online, type “APR2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button. You may also order by mail.


While strolling through the bowling alley one September day, Sandra Horowitz stopped to watch the man wearing the neatly pressed Army khakis playing a game of pool. When the young solider completed his game, he introduced himself:

     “Hi. My name’s Rudy.”
She nodded shyly, then realized he was waiting for a response. Panic flitted through her. As soon as she spoke, he would notice her speech.
     “What’s your name?” he asked again.
     “Sandra,” she enunciated as best she could.
     She saw his face become more attentive. Like all deaf people, she was an expert at reading body language.
     “Did you say Sandra?”
She nodded.
     “Glad to meet you. You been here before?”
     She nodded again, relieved his lips were so easy to speech read even though his face had the typical blankness of most hearing persons.
And thus begins the romance of two individuals from opposite backgrounds. In Four Days in Michigan, Philip Zazove tells the story of Sandra Horowitz, a young, deaf Jewish woman living in a small town in Michigan in 1942 who met a hearing soldier named Rudy Townsend. In just four short days, both their lives were turned upside down. Despite Sandra’s parents’ opposition to Rudy for being hearing and a Gentile and Rudy’s parents’ open bias against Sandra’s ethnic background and her deafness, Sandra and Rudy realized they were deeply and passionately in love.

Read more about their struggles and eventual triumph in the prologue. Save 20% off of the regular price today by using your exclusive subscriber discount. Simply type “APR2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button for online orders, or order by mail.


In Discourse and Signed Languages, a stellar, international cast of cognitive linguists, sociolinguists, and discourse analysts discover and demonstrate how sign language users make sense of what is going on within their social and cultural contexts in face-to-face interactions. Reference & Research Books News took notice of this latest edition to the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series stating, “Sociolinguistic experts analyze sign-language discourse in varying social contexts in this 17th volume of a series studying communication in deaf and hard of hearing communities. As in verbal communication, signed meanings may be construed differently by the receiver than intended by the conveyer either in sentence syntax or dialogue variations between different communities or cultures. Divided into four parts, analysts discuss the differences in discourse within American Sign Language, British Sign Language, and American Indian Sign Language. Methodologies in discourse analysis focus on face-to-face interaction to bring awareness and understanding to what is going on emotionally and socially with non-hearing, visual communicators.” Read chapter three, “The Discourse and Politeness Functions of hey and well in American Sign Language,” and order Discourse in Signed Languages online or by mail.


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