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17:5 Friday, May 30, 2015

A Revolutionary Collection

Researchers Examine Deaf African Developments in Citizenship and Language Activism

Citizenship, Politics, Difference: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Signed Language Communities brings together 16 contributors, along with volume editors Audrey C. Cooper and Khadijat K. Rashid, who examine sub-Saharan African deaf people’s perspectives on citizenship, politics, and difference, and analyze Sub-Saharan Signed Language practices in relation to sociopolitical histories and social change interests.

Before Apartheid was abolished, “there was no single deaf community in South Africa,” note Bruno Druchen and Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen in their foreword. “Instead there were Deaf Afrikaans (using Afrikaans Sign Language), Deaf English (using British Sign Language), Deaf Zulus, Deaf colored (the South African term for mixed-race people), Deaf South African Indians, and many more self-identified groups. Because members of these various ethnicities and nationalities used mutually incomprehensible oral or sign languages, the possibility of their ever developing a shared understanding or coming together for a common purpose seemed remote and perhaps out of the question. However, over the past twenty years, the deaf communities in South Africa have come together and accomplished much. As the chapters in this book show, deaf communities across Africa have gathered strength over the past couple of decades to improve the quality of life of their members.”

Despite the tremendous strides, “the picture for deaf communities in Africa is not all rosy,” acknowledge Druchen and Newhoudt-Druchen. “In many countries, progress in achieving equality has been slow or completely stalled, and still others have governments that appear to support the concept of language access for sign language users but do nothing to further the cause. Overall, however, there is much cause for optimism in Africa. Deaf communities now know their rights and have galvanized to attain them; it will be next to impossible for any single spoken-language majority or government to ever again repress sign language communities, regardless of where they exist.”

Read more about this revolutionary collection in the editors’ introduction, and save 20% off the regular price by ordering Citizenship, Politics, Difference now. For online orders, simply use the code “MAY2015”,  or order by mail.


Communication Design Quarterly, an online journal, featured a ringing endorsement of Signs and Wonders in a recent issue, stating: “In Signs and Wonders: Religious Rhetoric and the Preservation of Sign Language, Tracy Ann Morse traces how individuals and advocates for the deaf throughout American history have used religious rhetoric—or spiritual arguments and motifs—to argue for the preservation and appreciation of their cultural language. While this book is singular in its focus, various aspects and implications would be beneficial to audiences from different fields of interest. Naturally, those involved in deaf studies and communication—as well as scholars concerned with the history of religious rhetoric—would appreciate this text’s discussion of how deaf culture has used religion to instill faith in its own value. On a broader scale, Morse’s text provides rhetoric and communication teachers and scholars with a unique study of how individuals in a community design rhetorical moves (both religious and non-religious) to recognize their members’ shared identity and promote a sense of community.” Read chapter two, and order Signs and Wonders online or by mail.


Congratulations to us! Two of the Press’s titles won awards in the Washington Publishers Book Design and Effectiveness Competition in the category of Small-to-Medium Size Nonprofit Publishers-Illustrated Text. Every year, Washington Publishers recognizes, celebrates, and encourages excellence in bookmaking across the greater Washington, DC book publishing community. The competition’s judges evaluate the excellence of each book’s design and effectiveness in achieving the publisher’s goals, meeting the readers’ needs, and reaching its market.

The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language, by the Editors of Gallaudet University Press, tied for 1st place, and The History of Gallaudet University: 150 Years of a Deaf American Institution, by David F. Armstrong, received 3rd place. Order both today.


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