||Through Deaf Eyes
A Photographic History of an American Community
Douglas C. Baynton, Jack R. Gannon,
Visit the Gallaudet University National Deaf Life Museum’s online exhibition, History Through Deaf Eyes, which includes access to the documentary, Through Deaf Eyes, along with archival photographs and a discussion guide.
From Publishers Weekly
An enlightening and engaging collection of photographs and historical accounts is interspersed with personal anecdotes in this companion to a PBS documentary of the same name scheduled to air March 21 . This is an ideal introduction for anyone who has ever puzzled over the difference between deaf and Deaf (the latter refers to deaf culture). How a physical disability leads to a culture is a fascinating process, one the writers reveal by exploring the history of deaf education, the development of a Deaf community, the contentious debate that arose in the l9th century between oralists (who favored the use of lipreading and speech) and those who supported sign language, and the battle to convince the hearing world that an inability to hear was not tantamount to an inability to think and learn. Given these elements, the development of Deaf culture was inevitable. Even today, when technological advances have made it possible for the deaf and hearing communities to communicate more easily, there are still deaf people who prefer to remain within their world. Whether you agree or disagree with that philosophy, there’s no question this book provides a context to better understand it.
Douglas C. Baynton is an associate professor of history and American Sign Language at the University of Iowa.
Jack R. Gannon was former Special Assistant for Advocacy to the president of Gallaudet University.
Jean Lindquist Bergey is an outreach liaison and director of the History Through Deaf Eyes project at Gallaudet University.