Deaf geographies, and other worlds.
In case anyone is interested – I’ll be presenting at Heriot Watt in March.
On the 5th, I’ll be at EdSign – https://sites.google.com/site/edsignlectures/ presenting on
Imagine for a moment that, somewhere in the world, there was a continent where visual communication was the norm, and where deaf and hearing communicated by sign… where homes and streets and workplaces were based on visual lives, communications technology was visual first, and where knowledge was stored in books written in a form of sign… where national language differences were easy to overcome, and where visual communication rules defined conversation, business and politics.
Imagine, for a moment, the impact that discovering a continent like that would have on our assumptions about what it means to be ‘deaf’… or ‘disabled’.
My talk explores some of these ideas, and looks at how the idea of a ‘Deaf space’ can be used as a tool for Deaf community empowerment.
On the 6th, I’ll be at the university – presenting on
Signing Deaf people do not primarily describe themselves as those disabled by an inability to access hearing spaces. Rather, they inhabit Deaf spaces that are produced as regular contexts such as community centres, long-term Deaf families and schools for deaf children, and irregular opportunities such as national and international Deaf meetings allow opportunities to come together, author Deaf languages and cultures, and transmit them from one generation to the next.
Research into the Geographies of this Deaf community have recently emerged as one of the most exciting, developing areas of Human Geography: drawing together fields such as embodiment, performances of the environment, communication and sensescapes and viewing these through the eyes of a community who perform their cultural and social geographies in the visual.
This presentation outlines the emergence of Deaf Geographies, and explores ways in which geographical approaches based on the production of ‘Deaf spaces’ both compliment, and interrogate more traditional identity-based models of Deaf community.
I’m not sure if the Deaf Geographies presentation is open to the public…