• Letters from Philadelphia

    In the late nineteenth century, deafness was transformed into “Deafness,” shifting from a medical affliction towards a cultural category with its own language offering a unique perspective of the world. At the core of this transformation were educators and pupils at residential schools for the deaf. Educators were retrained in new pedagogical framework, adopting the… Continue Reading

  • The School on Wheels

    The school bell is no longer a new voice in the wilderness. It is an accept part of the educational system of Ontario. May it continue to ring out its welcome call up the hillsides and through the forest isles of the North for it carries a message of health, hope and power to the… Continue Reading

  • Auricular Training & The Little Deaf Child

    I came across a copy of The Little Deaf Child: A Book for Parents, a short book published in 1928 reassuring parents of deaf children that with proper training and education, there was hope for their children. The book was written by John Dutton Wright (1866-1952), the founder and director of the Wright Oral School in New… Continue Reading

  • The Pressures of Silence

    I’ve been busy this month helping my mom organize the boxes of photographs and old documents at her house. The best part of this project? When I come across documents from my childhood that I’ve long forgotten about, but thanks to my mom, have been carefully preserved. When I was 12, my English assignment was… Continue Reading

  • Green Light: Mr D.

    This is the fifth installment of my autobiographical series on my experiences with hearing loss. You can view earlier posts: Prologue; Chapter 1: Seeing Sounds; Chapter 2: Fearless Leader; Chapter 3: The Black Box. Posts appear every other Friday.  Sometime when I was six or seven, I was sent to a new school. It was far from our residence, which… Continue Reading

  • The Deaf & Dumb in Manchester

    Back in May, I stopped by Manchester, UK, for two days, to see some friends before heading to Cambridge and London. Many scholars of history of science were in the city for the 24th International Congress of History, Science, Technology, and Medicine, including some of my friends, who were presenting papers at the Congress. After… Continue Reading

  • Charitable Agenda for the Deaf

    In Britain, efforts to medicalize the deaf have a long-standing history that can be traced back to the Evangelical Revival of the late eighteenth century as medical men sought for a place within institutions for the deaf that were strictly devoted for instruction. In contrast to the l’esprit philosophique of late-eighteenth century France which precipitated… Continue Reading

  • Deafness as Discourse

    In Enforcing Normalcy, Lennard Davis makes the claim that Europe “became deaf” in the 18th century—that is, before the late 17th century, the deaf were not constructed as a group. The reason for this discursive nonexistence, Davis argues, is that most deaf individuals were born into hearing families and isolated in their deafness, viewed mainly… Continue Reading