Abstract

Pierre Desloges's 1779 essay "A Deaf Person's Observations about An Elementary Course of Education for the Deaf " and Emmanuelle Laborit's 1994 autobiography The Cry of the Gull, both originally published in French, exemplify how life writing by culturally Deaf authors functions as a contact zone between Deaf and hearing worlds. Desloges's essay challenges the primacy of written and spoken languages and the assumptions of an Enlightenment public fascinated by deafness but uncertain whether deaf people were fully human. Laborit's autobiography foregrounds the crucial role of sign language in her own development while asserting the continuing value of the written text. Her composition of both self and text entails a cultural hybridity in which elements of two languages and cultures are brought together without eliding their differences.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
pp. 342-359
Launched on MUSE
2012-12-05
Open Access
No
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