Gallaudet University Press

14:8 Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deaf People in Print

A New Collection Reflects Changes in the Portrayals of Deaf Characters in Literature

“The aim of every anthologist is to produce a collection that is more than the
sum of its parts,” shares Edna Edith Sayers, editor of Outcasts and Angels: The New Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature. “My hope is that the fortuitous juxtapositions and the sheer accumulated weight of inscrutable deaf character after inscrutable deaf character, each with her or his particular emotive style, from bafflement through longing, frustration, and anger to well-earned resentment, will enlighten—or at least destabilize—readers.”

In Outcasts and Angels, Edna Edith Sayers reveals the changes in the portrayals of deaf people in print since Trent Batson and Eugene Bergman released their classic Angels and Outcasts: An Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature in 1976.“The stories in this volume,” explains Sayers, “are presented in chronological order, with only their date of first publication and their country of origin, because they are expected to stand (or fall) on their own merit. Readers will decide for themselves what to make of the stories and of the authenticity of the deaf characters, both those who sign and those who do not. My conscious agenda for this volume is the promotion of good narrative literature and intriguing deaf fictional characters.”

Read a story from 1995 entitled Of Silence and Slow Time. Reserve your copy of Outcasts and Angels online or by mail, and receive a 20% savings off the regular price. For online reservations, type “AUG2012” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button.

Kristin Snoddon’s American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program recently recieved high praise from The Midwest Book Review: “American Sign Language and Early Literacy is a seminal contribution to ASL studies and highly recommended for personal, professional, and academic library reference collections and supplemental reading lists.” Reference & Research Book News also acknowledged Snoddon’s efforts, stating: “Snoddon presents findings from a research project examining an American Sign Language (ASL) literacy program for Deaf and hearing parents and young children in Ontario, Canada. The author first describes the present-day context of infant hearing screening and early intervention services for Deaf children and their parents, and the impact of these public services on participants. She then describes the processes and outcomes of the ASL program in terms of a counterdiscourse to the dominant discourse of early intervention policy for Deaf children and their parents, including the distinct roles taken by Deaf and hearing parents, and by the program leader as a Deaf adult and ASL instructor working to facilitate emergent ASL literacy. Snoddon identifies possible areas for improvement in providing greater access to ASL for Deaf children and their parents, and discusses the study's implications regarding potential benefits of early ASL literacy programming for participants.” Read more about this fascinating study in chapter four, “Research as Praxis.” American Sign Language and Early Literacy is available for purchase online and by mail.

Reference & Research Book News also featured a review of International Practices in Special Education: Debates and Challenges, edited by Margret A. Winzer and Kas Mazurek: “Twenty-nine international academics, researchers, and consultants contribute 15 chapters providing an overview and comparative perspective on special education and inclusive schooling as conceptualized and practiced in the world today. Organized into six geographic sections — North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Pacific Rim — the text analyzes changes and developments through national case studies, investigating special education practice within its social context and emphasizing the varied parameters, threads, and challenges involved in the current international movement toward inclusive schooling. The collection demonstrates that major disparities exist in fundamental approaches to and interpretation of special education and the inclusive agenda, which can be attributed to ideological differences and legal and structural dissentions.” Read chapter fourteen now, and order International Practices in Special Education online or by mail.

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