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8:10 Friday, October 27, 2006

Linguistic Diversity Continues to Abound

The 12th Volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities
Series Expands on Sign Language Use

Eleven years ago, Ceil Lucas introduced Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series, volume one of the eponymous series. Today, the 12th volume Multilingualism and Sign Languages: From the Great Plains to Australia demonstrates very clearly how much the field has grown since the publication of the first collection. The papers assembled in the new study “covers topics that range from the sign language used by American Indians in the Great Plains to variation and issues of interpretation in Auslan,” notes series editor Lucas, “with papers on Puerto Rican Sign Language, the Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ), Italian CODAs and ASL discourse in between. They also represent all of the key areas of sociolinguistic study and continue the series tradition of data-based accounts of the use of sign languages in a wide variety of contexts all over the world. Sociolinguistic issues are clearly being noticed, analyzed and documented in many Deaf communities.”

Four distinctive parts divide the essays in the 12th volume — Multilingualism; Language Contact; Variation; and Discourse Analysis. Featuring 16 internationally renowned linguistics experts, the absorbing studies reflect an astonishing range of linguistic diversity. Read a portion of the sole essay constituting part one, A Historical Linguistic Account of Sign Language among North American Indians, by Jeffrey E. Davis, and use your exclusive subscriber discount to save 20% off the regular price when you order online or by mail. For online orders, type “OCT0620%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information.


After four years of planning, the Deaf Way II international conference and arts festival (DWII) came to fruition on July 8–13, 2002, in Washington, D.C. The Deaf Way II Reader: Perspectives from the Second International Conference on Deaf Culture includes more than seventy-five select papers presented during the DWII conference. “We made an attempt to include every keynote and plenary presentation in their proper section,” says The Deaf Way II Reader editor Harvey Goodstein. “For the sections based on the twelve conference strands, several papers were selected so that the authors came from different countries and the papers covered varying subtopics, as far as possible.” Featuring the very best of the scholarship presented at the DWII conference, this extraordinary volume reveals how deaf people throughout the world live, study, work, and play, as well as how they relate to their families and the dominant hearing societies in which most of them reside. As noted by the editor, “We hope that from these representative papers in the book the reader will appreciate the wide range of topics covered and exchanged during the conference.” Read a paper from part one, and order The Deaf Way II Reader.”


In its recent issue, Wisconsin Bookwatch, the library newsletter from The Midwest Book Review, highlighted author Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren’s engrossing new study, stating: “Hearing Difference: The Third Ear in Experimental, Deaf, and Multicultural Theater by Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren is a scholarly study of the connections between hearing and deafness in theater that pushes the boundaries of experimentation, as well as deaf and multicultural theater. Applying the model of the ‘third ear’ to cross-sensory listening through sound, silence, and moving body performance, Hearing Difference deconstructs works of playwright Robert Wilson, the National Theatre of the Deaf, and Asian American director Ping Chong, as well as tracing the evolution of theatre of the third ear from the mid-1800s to the 1960s. An intensely scholarly close study of the systems that permeate theater, especially those that most strongly distinguish and transcend it from the audio-focused realm of the radio play, Hearing Difference is especially recommended for college library and drama department reference shelves.” You can read an excerpt from chapter two here, and order Hearing Difference here.


Gallaudet University Press Institute, the educational division of Gallaudet University Press, presents a sixth international conference, 150 Years on Kendall Green: Celebrating Deaf History and Gallaudet, to be held April 11–13, 2007, at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. With this conference, Gallaudet University will celebrate the remarkable history of the founding of Kendall Green and its growth into the most important university for Deaf people worldwide. Keynote speaker James M. McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, along with an extraordinary ensemble of scholars will present on a myriad of topics from the intersection of the assimilation movement with Deaf education during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the influence of Gallaudet on Deaf education worldwide and much more. Register on-line now through February 15, 2007, and receive a 10% discount off the regular registration fee of $250. For more information about the conference, go to http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/gupiconference/index.html.


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