“We Have No Need to Lock Ourselves Away”: Space, Marginality, and the Negotiation of Deaf Identity in Late Soviet Moscow

Claire L Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the late 1950s, the Moscow branch of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf embarked on an ambitious program to build a network of social and residential buildings for deaf people in the city. In this article, I examine the resulting emergence of a defined “deaf space” within the Moscow cityscape, exploring the ways in which this space shaped, and was shaped by, the Soviet deaf community. While such institutional buildings were intended as the ultimate expression of deaf agency, drawing on revolutionary understandings of disability to define the deaf as active Soviet citizens, they also served to frame the deaf as visibly “other,” inviting contradictory and often problematic readings of the deaf community’s place within the Soviet body politic. By examining deaf people’s engagement with the developing politics of Soviet urban space, I thus explore issues of disability, Sovietness, and the complex intersection of marginality and emancipation in the late Soviet era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759
Number of pages786
JournalSlavic Review
Volume74
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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