Gallaudet University Press

9:8 Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What’s Eating Christopher Jon Heuer?

Author Shares Thoughts on Being Deaf and deaf

The Nobel Prize in literature laureate J. M. Coetzee once defined a classic as a work that a community cannot afford to lose. “This book is already a classic,” notes John Lee Clark in the foreword of Christopher Jon Heuer’s BUG: Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution. “The essays in this book are important and have explosive value,” he continues. Many of the essays were originally published in Heuer’s “Man on the Street” column for The Tactile Mind Weekly, while several others appeared in his “Mind over Matter” column for the National Association of the Deaf—Members Only Area’s web site. Much of the material in BUG is new.

So, where does the title of this book come from, you ask? “About a year into my writing ‘Man on the Street,’” Heuer explains, “people began nodding at me as we passed each other in the hallowed halls of Gallaudet [University]. My fame never quite reached the point where people started buying me beers at Deaf Professional Happy Hour (nudge to audience), but that’s okay. I’ll settle for the nods. At heart, at least, I’m a man of the street. I know exactly what I look like from the scholarly heights of the ivory tower: a bug (synonym for pest; synonym for a small thing easily squished). So be it. I resign myself to my destiny. Understand something, though. Most people no doubt believe that the destiny of a bug is to become a dime-sized bloodstain on the palm of somebody’s hand. But the bug himself? He believes it’s his destiny to start an infestation.”

Read Heuer’s introduction, On Small Things Easily Squished (and Alternative Destinies), to learn more about what really “bugs” him. And, save 20% off the regular price when you order BUG online or by mail. For online orders, type “AUG0720%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information.

The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary DVD earned the endorsement of Library Journal in a recent review: “This DVD version of The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary is a must for every collection. Organizing 1,400 signs by handshape, the disc allows browsing by what a sign looks like, as well as looking up signs using English words. Providing graphical search capabilities is a fabulous aid for people learning this visual language, and this is one of the very few ASL-to-English dictionaries available in any format. In addition, the signing and production quality is first rate.” You can add The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary DVD to your collection by ordering here.

Library Journal and The Midwest Book Review both laud William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night DVD: Performed in American Sign Language and English. Library Journal states: “Twelfth Night is enhanced by a web site that provides extraordinary insight into staging ASL theater productions. Lesson plans go beyond the themes of the play and include theatrical signing, signing to an audience that is behind you, and other nuances of ASL. The DVD quality is quite good, and there are access points for all acts and scenes. At its modest cost, Twelfth Night is essential for any school teaching Shakespeare or ASL and highly recommended for public libraries.”

The Midwest Book Review notes: “William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a DVD theater production of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy especially for deaf and hard of hearing viewers. Featuring an American Sign Language performance with a stellar cast including deaf actors Adrian Blue, Peter Cook, Robert DeMayo, Monique Holt, and Jackie Roth, optional captions, and a lively English voice-over track for accessibility to hearing audiences, William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a singularly expressive and vivacious presentation. A ‘must-see’ Shakespeare experience for ASL users everywhere.” Order your copy today!

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