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8:5 Thursday, May 18, 2006

Listening with the “Third Ear”

Exploring the Connections Between Hearing and Deafness
in Experimental, Deaf, and Multicultural Theater

Until now, no comparative study between deaf theaters and experimental, Deaf, and multicultural theaters has ever been done. Interdisciplinary scholar Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren investigates these connections in Hearing Difference: The Third Ear in Experimental, Deaf, and Multicultural Theater. “These intersections of hearing, deafness, multiculturalism, and performance indicate newly emerging cultural practices,” notes Kochhar-Lindgren. “Several scholars have laid much of the critical groundwork on the importance of Deaf studies. My own work—in which I expand the model of what I am calling the ‘third ear’ as a device for a cross-sensory listening across domains of sound, silence, and the moving body in performance—forms a partial response to, and an elaboration of, [these scholars’] wide-ranging labors.”

Employing her model while charting a genealogy of the theater of the third ear from the mid-1800s to the 1960s, Kochhar-Lindgren concludes, “The intersections of deafness and hearing have several implications for the theoretical construction of deafness. The deconstruction of deafness and hearing as it relates to the notion of the third ear provides us with a method of hearing across perceptual domains. We can also begin to understand some of our failures, as multiculturalists, to hear each other and to engage in interchange that is more fully intersubjective and transactive. Such a poetics of hearing is carved out by the mutually reciprocating spatialities of the listening body, as it continues to dance.”

Read more about this absorbing study in an excerpt from chapter 2, “History of the Theater of the Third Ear,” now. And, by using your exclusive subscriber discount, save 20% off the regular price when you order Hearing Difference online. In the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information, type in “MAY0620%.” Or, order by mail.


The Press launched its fall 2005 season with the all-new, completely revised fourth edition of Linguistics of American Sign Language: An Introduction by Clayton Valli, Ceil Lucas, and Kristen Mulrooney. In the spring 2006 issue of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, the reviewer remembers the first edition and fittingly notes of the fourth edition that “[T]his textbook remains a valuable resource for educators and students alike. The changes and expansions that have been made have mostly improved the book, and I look forward to using this textbook in my future classes on ASL linguistics.” Read the full review here.

Long established as the authoritative text in its field, this new edition features a completely revised section on morphology and syntax, 18 new and updated readings, and new homework assignments based on the accompanying DVD. View the text table of contents and the DVD contents, and also read an excerpt from part 3, Morphology and Syntax. Order Linguistics of American Sign Language, 4th Edition here.


Jan-Kåre Breivik’s Deaf Identities in the Making: Local Lives, Transnational Connections, another title in the Press’s fall 2005 lineup, also garnered a fine notice from the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education: “[T]he book presents a deep and penetrating exploration of forms of deaf identity and how these may be constructed in local, national, and transnational contexts. It is presented in a most readable style, and I found that I was more and more drawn into the stories and was looking forward to finding how the author would draw these disparate accounts together. I particularly recommend the book for teachers, counselors, and even for parents of young deaf children.”

Deaf Identities in the Making is based on anthropological research among deaf Norwegians, with a focus upon their life stories. Profiles of ten Norwegian Deaf people living within a translocal/transnational framework depict how core questions of identity are approached from different deaf points of view. Read chapter 1 “Being, Becoming, and Longing,” and order Deaf Identities in the Making.


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