Elements of French Deaf Heritage

By Ulf Hedberg & Harlan Lane
Foreword by Yves Delaporte

Categories: Deaf Communities and Cultures, Deaf History, Deaf Studies
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781944838560, 222 pages, March 2020
Ebook : 9781944838577, 312 pages, March 2020
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French Deaf culture is regarded as a major influence on the formation of other Deaf cultures around the world, notably American Deaf culture. In Elements of French Deaf Heritage, Ulf Hedberg and Harlan Lane document the development of Deaf culture in France by way of Deaf schools, Deaf associations, private and professional networks, publishing, and the arts. This highly visual work captures these forces from the late 18th century through the end of the 19th century, when cultural formation began to shift to cultural maintenance. Encyclopedic in scope, this examination of the evolution of Deaf ethnicity in France aims to disseminate an extensive amount of archival information, now available for the first time in the English language.


Ulf Hedberg is the former director of the Gallaudet University Library Deaf Collections and Archives. He is a co-author of The People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry.

Harlan Lane is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. He is a MacArthur Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. His published works include When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community, and The People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry.



"Readers can relish the richness of French Deaf heritage by reading about early Deaf founders of schools, teachers, artists, writers, and publishers who formed Deaf associations, Deaf congresses and Deaf presses. Maps, tables, and photographic illustrations (both black-and-white and color) enhance the book’s encyclopedic format. An appendix titled 'Ethnicity in the Deaf-World' offers a primer on the book's underlying premise that Deaf minorities constitute unique ethnic groups worldwide...Highly recommended. All readers."

— J. F. Andrews, CHOICE Reviews