ANTHRO 50-01: The Deaf World

Instructor: Karen Nakamura
Last Offered: Spring 2002
Tuesday/Thursday 10:10 - 11:40 Carnegie 208

Course Description

The sign for deaf community in American Sign Language is the "DEAF-WORLD." That's also often how hearing people imagine the space deaf people occupy, a world totally separate from the "hearing world." This is perhaps why most hearing people are surprised to learn that there isn't just one sign language that deaf people all across the world use, or that Deaf Worlds can be so different in identity and orientations.

This course presents a survey of deaf communities in different countries and looks at the origins of sign languages, their differences, how deaf communities have emerged viz. a viz. hearing people, and the relationships between language, culture, and identity. You'll learn about sign linguistics and be able to conduct some sociolinguistic and linguistic analyses of sign language. We will discuss such 'hot topics' as cochlear implants (genocide or not?) and the future of deaf communities as medical technologies advance.

Prerequisites and Requirements

Anthro 11: Cultural Anthropology

Textbooks and Course Readings

The required textbooks will be available at the Ruminator Bookstore. Course readings in the forms of articles will also be distributed in class. Please note that this reading list is subject to change before the Spring semester.

Web version of the course syllabi

Final Paper30%

Required Texts:

Groce, Nora Ellen. Everyone here spoke sign language: hereditary deafness on Martha's Vineyard. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1985. ISBN 0674270401. $15.50.

Lane, Harlan, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan. A journey into the Deaf-World. San Diego: DawnSign Press. 1996. ISBN 0915035634. $39.95 512pp.

Monaghan, Leila, Constanze Schmaling, Karen Nakamura, and Graham Turner, eds. Many Ways to be Deaf: International Linguistic and Sociocultural Variation Mansucript galley proofs.

Van Cleve, John Vickrey (ed.) Deaf history unveiled: interpretations from the new scholarship. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 1993. ISBN 1563680874 (pbk). $27.50. 316pp.

Articles (on eReserve):

Battison, Robbin. "Signs have parts: a simple idea." In Linguistics of American Sign Language. C. Valli and C. Lucas, eds. pp. 215-225. Washington: Gallaudet University Press. 1995 ISBN 1563680424.

Baynton, Douglas C. "A silent exile on this earth." In Disability studies reader. L. J. Davis, ed. pp. 128-152. New York: Routledge. 1995. ISBN 0-415-91471-X (pbk).

Brusky, Amy Elizabeth. "Making decisions for deaf children regarding cochlear implants: the legal ramifications of recognizing deafness as a culture rather than a disability." Wisconsin Law Review:235-270. 1995.

Carmel, Simon J., and Leila F. Monaghan. "Studying Deaf culture: an introduction to ethnographic work in Deaf communities." Sign Language Studies 73. 1991.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. "Framed: the deaf in the harem." In Deviant bodies: critical perspectives on difference in science and popular culture. J. Terry and J. Urla, eds. pp. 49-77. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1995. ISBN 0-253-20975-7 (pbk).

Mitchell, David T., and Sharon L. Snyder. "Introduction: Disability Studies and the Double Bind of Representation." from The body and physical difference: discourses of disability. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1997. ISBN 0472-06659-5 (paper). Pp 1-31.

Murphy, Robert. "Encounters: the body silent in America." In Disability and culture. B. Ingstad and S. R. Whyte, eds. pp. 140-158. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1995. ISBN 0-520-08362-8.

Padden, Carol, and Tom Humphries. "Chapter 5: A changing consciousness." In Deaf in America: voices from a culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1988. ISBN 0-674-19424-1 (pbk). Pp 71-90.

Perlmutter, David. "Topic: comment: no nearer to the soul." Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (4):515-523. 1986.

Searls, Susan C., and David R. Johnston. "Growing up Deaf in Deaf families: two different experiences." In Cultural and language diversity and the deaf experience. I. Parasnis, ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1996. ISBN 0521645654. pp. 201-224.

Stokoe, William C., Dorothy C. Casterline, and Carl G. Cronenberg. "Introduction to the Dictionary of American Sign Language." In Linguistics of American Sign Language. C. Valli and C. Lucas, eds. pp. 226-240. Washington: Gallaudet University Press. 1995/1976/1965. ISBN1563680424.

Wiley, Norbert. "The politics of identity in American history". In Social theory and the politics of identity. C. Calhoun, ed. pp. 130-149. Oxford: Blackwell. 1994. ISBN 1-55786-473-X.

Wilson, Frank R. "The Articulate Hand. Chapter 10" from The hand: how its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture, pp. 182-209. New York: Pantheon Books. 1998. ISBN 0679412492.

Winata, Sunaryana, I Nyoman Arhya, Sukarti Moeljopawiro, et al. "Congenital non-syndromal autosomal recessive deafness in Bengkala, an isolated Balinese village." Journal of Medical Genetics 32:336-343. 1995.

Library and Internet Resources

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