Deaf geographies, and other worlds.

1834 DEAF (deaf-mute) banquet translation in progress

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve started to post up the translations of the 1834 banquet.

If you want to follow it, you can refer to it at http://www.scribd.com/doc/56915230/1834-English-Unfinished

There are a couple of issues that this first real banquet account brings up… the most important really being the question of who actually wrote it.

Traditional wisdom says that because it was published by the Société Centrale, the organising group… that they wrote it.

However, that version appeared in 1842 in print… which is fine, except that the banquet was in 1834, and there are handwritten accounts from that time which show that it was actually written as a newspaper article (or a number, that were then conflated into a single account)… by hearing people – notably Eugène de Monglave and B. Maurice (of ‘having to use a pencil to talk to the heroes of the feast’ fame).

What does that finding change? well, not necessarily very much. Except that you’ve got to ask yourself – particularly when Mottez and others have pointed at this banquet specifically as representative of a political movement within the Deaf community – how representative it actually was.

What the record shows is that the history of the Deaf community – and particularly of its political evolution through the 1830s, 40s and 50s… is much much more complicated than previous research seems to suggest.

Anyway… more of that as the record becomes more available.

In the meantime, enjoy…

2 comments on “1834 DEAF (deaf-mute) banquet translation in progress

  1. Noni Warner
    June 6, 2011

    Hi .. if several Deaf staff and several Hearing ASL using staff occupy a space in office – should ASL be on all the time, or can hearing staff just talk to each other when they feel like it?

    • Mike Gulliver
      June 21, 2011

      Hi Noni,

      Tough question to answer quickly… there are lots of different cultural, respect, native knowledge etc. issues that it brings up that makes an ‘easy’ answer impossible. I’m also not sure that I can answer something about ASL, when I have little knowledge of the American Deaf community

      Here are some thoughts though, as a hearing person.

      Speaking isn’t accessible to Deaf people… but signing is accessible to hearing and Deaf. So, if I’m sharing a room with hearing and Deaf people, I should be signing.

      But… sign is not my native language, so any communication through sign will be – in some way – a bit less natural to me. I will also need to adopt different cultural standards to use it… so does it cost me effort to use sign? Yes… But will I get used to that eventually… also yes.

      Interestingly though, what does using sign language do? It transforms the space that is produced in that room from a ‘hearing space’ that Deaf people struggle to access, to a ‘Deaf space’. That means that I don’t have native priviledge any more (as a hearing person)… I’m effectively in a ‘foreign space’ whether other things that I might do… listen to music, use the phone etc. are also potentially foreign.

      Some of those things are ‘expected’ for my job and so *not* doing them might be problematic.

      So your question is not just one about language. Effectively, it’s a question about how fixed the spaces are that we work in, and how revolutionary it might be to decide to produce a Deaf space in an office which all of the work structures ‘expect’ to be a hearing space.

      As I said, not an easy question to answer… but a very interesting one 🙂

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on June 2, 2011 by in Musings and tagged , , , .
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