|Women and Deafness|
Although it seems odd to use vision or “double visions” in a book title about women and D/deafness, the authors assert that “doubling our visions can mean many different ways of looking.” The essays here explore contributor Sharon Barnartt’s notion, “With regard to educational attainment and occupational status, deafness is not the master status. Rather, gender is,” with depth and complexity while putting D/deaf women at the center. The familiar refrain of sex role stereotyping of D/deaf women is found in more than one of the essays, ranging from education designed to train homemakers to D/deaf beauty pageants. Particularly noteworthy is “The Aesthetics of Linguistic Envy: Deafness and Muteness in Children of a Lesser God and The Piano” by Jennifer Nelson, because of students’ puzzled and confused responses to these films as erotic, violent, and mysterious. Although some of the more theoretical essays may require an instructor’s assistance, the 21 essays and editors’ introductions in the books three sections—“In and Out of the Community” (identity issues), “(Women’s) Authority and Shaping Deafness” (women’s agency), “Reading Deaf Women” (culture and expression)—make for a richly accessible book for undergraduate students. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Brenda Jo Brueggemann is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Louisville.
Susan Burch is an associate professor of American Studies with the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College.
Print Edition: ISBN 978-1-56368-617-7, 6 x 9 paperback, 312 pages, photographs, sign illustrations, 4 tables, 19 figures
E-Book: ISBN 978-1-56368-382-4
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