Deafhood, Deaf Studies and the ‘Deaf Reconstruction’ Project – an Evaluation of Future Possibilities.

N P Ladd

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


    The new concept of Deafhood has spread rapidly around the world, particularly in Deaf communities in the USA and certain parts of Europe, and we may summarise part of this impact as having stimulated a search to identify Deaf epistemologies and ontologies. Such impact is in itself revolutionary. But there are other ways in which the concept has revolutionary implications.

    One such is that this search for those epistemologies and ontologies requires those developing the Deafhood concept to begin to build bridges to other academic disciplines, several of which have not worked with Deaf Studies scholars before. Examples include the work of Gulliver (2008) in utilising human geography concepts of space and place in a Deafhood context, Emery’s work on citizenship and group human rights (2011), Kusters’ (2009) research in anthropology, Meller (2010) in sociology, Emery on genetics and Deafhood, and Goncalves’ (2010) research in education.

    Another implication is the concept’s significance for Deaf Studies itself – indeed by its very existence, Deafhood automatically triggers the need, not only for Deaf Studies to review and evaluate its development over the past 30 years of its existence, but serves as a lens through which we might conduct that review. This is the subject of this paper.

    I begin with a historical review of Deaf Studies itself, leading to a brief introduction to the Deafhood concept, with a focus on the centrality of the concept of colonialism as applied to Deaf community lives. I then examine another minority studies discipline – Black Studies as practiced in the USA - to see what can be learned from its own development as a discipline to help us rethink Deaf Studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationnot yet known
    PublisherUtah Valley State College
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusIn preparation - 2013

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