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Agatha Tiegel Hanson
Our Places in the Sun

Kathy Jankowski

July 2023

  $29.95 (t) paperback, ebook

Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873-1959) is regarded as a seminal figure in Deaf history for her writing, advocacy, and leadership, though her accomplishments merit recognition within the larger context of American history as well. Barely fifteen years old in 1888, Tiegel Hanson became one of the first women to attend the nation's only college for Deaf students, the National Deaf-Mute College, now known as Gallaudet University. Amid the hostility and skepticism of male students and faculty, she achieved exemplary academic success and was the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the college. Upon facing stringent campus restrictions and exclusion from male-only organizations and activities, Tiegel Hanson cofounded a society for female students. Her prerequisite graduation presentation, “The Intellect of Woman,” was a powerful oratory that urged women to “move on till all barriers crumble and fall.”

       Throughout her life, Agatha Tiegel Hanson worked to advance the rights of Deaf people and women, and she was a passionate advocate of sign language rights. Her contributions include creative written works as well as influential treatises. She served in leadership positions at several Deaf organizations and, along with her husband, noted Deaf architect Olof Hanson, she played a vital role in the Deaf cultural life of the time. In Agatha Tiegel Hanson: Our Places in the Sun, author Kathy Jankowski presents a portrait of this trailblazer, and celebrates her impact on the Deaf community and beyond. This biography will be of interest to those already familiar with Tiegel Hanson’s legacy as well as to readers who are discovering her extraordinary life for the first time.

Kathy Jankowski is a former dean of Gallaudet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. She was previously the first Deaf and first female superintendent of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Central North Carolina School for the Deaf. Jankowski has also been a communications professor, a program director at a nonprofit advocacy organization, a school counselor, and an American Sign Language instructor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University, a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. She is also the author of Deaf Empowerment: Emergence, Struggle, and Rhetoric, and has published chapters and articles in books and other publications.

ISBN 978-1-954622-15-9
392 pages. 6 x 9. 60 photographs.
$29.95 (t)

ISBN 978-1-954622-16-6