In this Book

Signs and Wonders
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
Current academic discourse frequently understates the role of religion in the development of the American Deaf community. In her new study, Tracy Ann Morse effects a sharp course correction by tracing the frequent use over time of religious rhetoric by members of the deaf community to preserve and support sign language. In Chapter One, Morse analyzes Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s use of religious references in his 1817 maiden address at the first American school for deaf students. She examines his and other speeches as examples of the intersection of education for deaf Americans and Protestant missionary efforts to convert them. In the second chapter, she presents the different religious perspectives of the two deaf education camps: Manualists argued that sign language was a gift from God, while Oralists viewed hand gestures as animal-like, indicative of lower evolutionary development. Chapter Three explores the religious rhetoric in churches, sanctuaries where sign language flourished and deaf members formed relationships. In the fourth chapter, Morse shows how deaf activist George Veditz signed using religious themes in his political films. She also comments on the impact of the bilingual staging of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which began to change the hearing world’s opinion about the Deaf community. Morse concludes with speculation on the shifting terrain for deaf people due to technological innovations that might supplant religious rhetoric as a tool to support the Deaf community.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. C-C
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1: Intersections of Deafness, Religion,and Rhetoric
  2. pp. 9-34
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2: Protestant Ideology and the Arguments for Sign Language in Late Nineteenth-Century Schools for Deaf Children
  2. pp. 35-65
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3: Saved by Signs: The Role of the Sanctuary in the Preservation of Sign Language
  2. pp. 66-85
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4: Religious Rhetoric in Deaf Community Activism and Advocacy
  2. pp. 86-129
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5: Conclusion and Implications
  2. pp. 130-144
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 145-150
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 151-156
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.