• Marriage: A Distraction

    Sometimes I get distracted when I go to the library. Case in point: I headed to the Thomas Fisher Rare Books library at the University of Toronto to examine John Cunningham Saunders’ Anatomy of the Human Ear and ended up requesting a manuscript that I looked at a couple of years ago as part of a course… Continue Reading

  • Teaching Excellence: An Interview

    A while back, I was asked to give a short interview about teaching excellence for the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University’s Fall brochure. Of course, I was honoured–even though it’s a really short interview. Here’s the article, and you can see the full spread here.

  • Fall Semester and New Experiences.

    It’s going to be a busy semester ahead for me. I’m teaching a course at Ryerson University, Medicine from Antiquity to the 1500s, TAing at University of Toronto for a course on the history of evolutionary biology, logging hours at the Writing Center at my department, and somehow finding time to continue writing my dissertation. I came… Continue Reading

  • Votive Ear

    From Science Museum London & Wellcome Images Collection: Votive offerings were presented to a god, either in the hope of a cure or as thanks for one. They were made in the shape of the afflicted body part – in this case a person’s ears. They may have been experiencing deafness or infection. Made from… Continue Reading

  • Duncan Campbell

    The play also raised a timely social issue, that of the need of England’s charity movement to establish educational schools for the deaf; but the transference of public perceptions of the deaf and dumb from France to Britain through this play was no means done so in isolation—the public were already aware of the necessities… Continue Reading

  • Objects of Sympathy

    While in France, Enlightenment philosophy emphasized the notion that man could be released from ignorance and superstition through rational knowledge and experience, the situation was drastically different in England. Instead of beings seen as evidence of the philosophies of the Enlightenment philosophers or reflective of the political ideologies of the time, the deaf in England… Continue Reading

  • The Giant’s Shoulders: The Fiftieth Anniversary Edition

    Welcome history of science aficionados, to the fiftieth anniversary edition of The Giant’s Shoulders! Don’t let Newton’s grouchiness sway you–you’re in for quite a treat! First, a very happy birthday to Sascha the canine philosopher dog! We’ll have a toast in your honor and you can hump or chase squirrels or whatever you fancy. I want to… Continue Reading

  • Off to Leeds!

    I’m headed out to Leeds, UK for the Disability & the Victorians: Confronting Legacies Conference to be held at Leeds-Trinity University College. This should be an interesting conference for me, for it’s the first time I’m presenting a paper to an audience composed of historians and other scholars of deaf and disability studies. I’m really… Continue Reading

  • “that deaf stupid man!”

    In 1839, a deaf man, G.H. Bosanquet, published a pamphlet entitled The Sorrows of Deafness, explaining in the preface that his aims for publication were derived from his “having suffered misery…from the privations of deafness.” Writing on behalf of his “fellow-sufferers,” Bosanquet remarks “[t]here is no class of sufferers whose feelings, as far as the results… Continue Reading

  • The Catheter

    Valsalva’s De aure remained one of the standard treatises on the ear and the Valsalva maneuver gained popularity among physicians and surgeons for diagnosing sources of blockages in the ear. The maneuver, however, contained little therapeutic benefits for cases in which there weren’t blockages in the tube or associated parts of the ear; moreover, it… Continue Reading