Deaf Culture Pathfinder

Library Resources

Encyclopedias or Reference Works

The following specialised resources can be used when starting research on a topic. Articles are written by experts in the field and have bibliographies for further reading. If you are not sure of a topic, browsing through these works will give you topic ideas.

Deaf world [interactive multimedia] (1997). Middlesex. England: Microbooks Ltd. (Available on PCs in Library - CD available at Loans Desk - Reference Only)
Covers deaf awareness, deaf culture, deaf knowledge base and institutions, clubs and deaf resources in the United Kingdom.

Johnston, T.(Ed.) (1998). Signs of Australia : a new dictionary of Auslan (the sign language of the Australian deaf community) Rev. ed. Parramatta, N.S.W.: North Rocks Press. (In Reference Area REF RQ419.03 JOHN 1998 Loan copies also available).
Excellent chapter, pp. 557-567 on The Australian Deaf Community and its Language.

Johnston, T.(Ed.) (2000). Signs of Australia on CD-ROM [electronic resource] : a dictionary of Auslan (Australian Sign Language). North Rocks, N.S.W.: Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. (In Reference Area REF Available for viewing on Library PCs)
This CD-ROM dictionary includes 4,000 individual signs, each defined in simple, basic English and modelled by native deaf signers. Signs from across Australia are represented including numerous regional and state signs and variants.

Turkington, C. & Sussman, A. (Eds.) (1992). The Encyclopedia of deafness and hearing disorders. New York: Facts on File. (In Reference area REF R617.8003 TURK)
Short entries in dictionary like format.

Van Cleve, J.(Ed.) (1987). Gallaudet encyclopedia of Deaf people and deafness. New York: McGraw-Hill.. (In Reference area REF 362.4203 VANC).
Look at the article in Volume 1 by Yerker Anderson, "Culture and Subculture" which gives a definition of culture and how it applies to the concept of Deaf Culture. Check out the "Cochlear Implants" article by J.M. Prickett in Volume 1. Check out articles on Sign Language in Volume 3, pp. 22-134 which discuss various aspects of sign languages such as facial expressions, history, other countries' sign languages and more. Use the index in Volume 3 to find related articles under the following headings: Deaf Community, Deaf Population, Education, Folklore, History.

Books and Videos

Books are good places to get in-depth information and the historical background of an issue. They are not good places to find recent information. Check the bibliography (list of resources) at the end of most books to find other suggestions of where to find related articles and books.

You can find books about Deaf Culture in the NEWCAT Catalogue. Do a Word Search and limit to Location: Renwick Centre and try these keywords: deaf culture or deaf identity or deaf communit* The asterisk at the end of the word. Below are a selection of books available from Renwick Centre Library. They may be reserved via the Request button in the online NEWCAT Catalogue. There are many more items available.

Most of the book descriptions are from the Clerc Center at Gallaudet University. Amazon bookstore and publishers' websites or catalogs have also been used for other book descriptions.

Deaf Culture

Aymard, L.L. & Winstanley, C. (1992). Reflections on the language and culture of Deaf Americans. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. Q305.908162 AYMA
Presents a collection of articles addressing topics in deaf culture, facts about hearing loss, and the history of American Sign Language (ASL). Designed to give the student of ASL an appreciation of the American deaf community and its language. Recommended articles: "Two Views of Deafness" p. 35 by Chris Wixtrom; "Inside the Deaf Community" p. 153 by Barbara Kannapell; "Name Signs as Identity Symbols in the Deaf Community" p. 157 by Kathryn Meadow. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Cebe, J. (Eds.). (1992). Deaf studies for educators: Conference proceedings. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University, College for Continuing Education. 371.912 DEAF
Presentations from the 1991 March 7-10 conference focuses on integrating the educational curriculum with the study of culture, ASL, and the literature and arts of deaf people. Other papers discuss bilingual/bicultural programs and considerations as well as sociological implications of deaf studies.

Cohen, L.H. (1994). Train go sorry: Inside a Deaf world. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 371.912 COHE-1
The title is an ASL idiom meaning "missing the boat," a concept which captures the miscommunication that occurs between deaf and hearing people individually and societally. As a hearing child, Leah Cohen grew up and formed her identity at the Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens, NY. She illuminates the struggles and triumphs of the deaf world through student accounts.

Erting, C.J., Johnson, R.C., Smith, D.L., & Snider, B.N. (Eds.). (1994). The Deaf way: Perspectives from the international conference on Deaf culture. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 ERTI
This book chronicles the historic gathering at Gallaudet University of over 6,000 deaf people from around the world who attended "The Deaf Way," an international conference on deaf culture in July 1989. The 153 articles focus on topics related to deaf societies around the world.

Gannon, J.R. (1981). Deaf heritage: a narrative history of Deaf America. Silver Spring, Md: National Association of the Deaf. Q305 GANN
There are examples of deaf humor and folklore in Chapter 8, information about Deaf schools in Chapter 1, etc.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1990). Eyes, hands, voices: Communication issues among Deaf people. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q362.42 GARR-1
The 30 articles in this monograph discuss diverse aspects of communication including total communication, the value of ASL in deaf education, Cued Speech, communication in the deaf community, bilingualism and more.
Recommended article: "Personal Reflections: Current Issues on Language and Communication Among Deaf People" by Barbara Kannapell, p. 65.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1991). Perspectives on Deafness. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q362.42 GARR
More than 30 writers who have had extensive involvement with deaf people present their views. The articles, representing the diversity in the deaf community, share views, experiences, and perspectives which may appear to be conflicting, inconsistent or contradictory. Check out the article "Importance of a Cultural Identity" by Jack Gannon p. 55 & "Can Deaf People Survive 'deafness'? by MJ Bienvenu, p. 21.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1992). Viewpoints on Deafness. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q362.42 GARR-2
Contains more than 30 articles written by well-known authors and poets giving their perceptions on being deaf and on deaf people. Yerker Anderson wrote "Sociological Reflections on Diversity Within the Deaf Population", p. 7.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1993). Deafness: 1993-2013. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q362.420973 GARR
Contains 30 articles written by well-known authors and poets offering a broad spectrum of perspectives and opinions focusing on the future of the deaf community. Recommended articles: "Fifty Years of Technology in Six Scenes" p. 39, by Judy Harkins; "The Construction of Deaf Identity" p. 41, by Tom Holcomb; "The Deafhood Papers"p. 67, by Paddy Ladd and "Constructions of Deafness" p. 73, by Harlan Lane. Poems listed are: "Diminishing Returns" and "March 13, 1988" by Howard Busby; "Deaf or Something?" by Ken Glickman; "The Worst Signers Watch Their Hands" by Merv Garretson; "Hands" by Greg Kuzma; "October" by Rex Lowman; "Lady With Mandolin (upon viewing a portrait)" by Lawrence Newman; "To You Who Hear" by Sal Parlato; "Life Within Deafness (a poem from Ethiopia)" by Kibra Taye; "Belonging….Where?" by M. Lynn Woolsey; "My Deaf Vision" by Barbara Eger and "Lydia Sigourney Counsels Mr. Clerc" by Loy Golladay.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1994). Deafness: Life & culture: A Deaf American monograph. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q305.908 DEAF v. 1
Selected articles and poetry providing insights into the diverse ethnicities, religions, cultures, philosophies, educations, and languages within the deaf community. Recommended articles: "Laughing Our Way Up: Deaf Superiority Through Humor" p. 69 by Lisa Lind; "Oppression, Culture of Poverty, and Deaf People" p. 75 by Albert Linderman and "The 'How' of a Language" p. 81 by Helen Meador.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1995). Deafness: Life & culture II: A Deaf American monograph. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q305.908 DEAF v. 2
A sequel to the first monograph, this book shares thought-provoking articles, historical essays, and touching poetry.

Garretson, M.D. (Ed.). (1996). Deafness: Historical perspectives: A Deaf American monograph. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q305.908162 GARR
The historical perspectives in this book include essays on organizations and programs of and for deaf people, communication and education, profiles depicting individuals who have contributed greatly to public understanding of the deaf community, a genealogical perspective on five multi-generational deaf families, deaf studies, deaf theatre, and poetry.

Heritage in our hands [videorecording]. (1989). Strathfield, N.S.W.: Adult Education Centre for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Persons. Video 305.908162 HERI
A 7 part series of a collection of interviews with senior deaf people who talk about early days, school days, employment, deaf community and home and society and how sign language has played an important part in it.

Holcomb, R., Holcomb, S. & Holcomb, T. (1994). Deaf culture our way: Anecdotes from the Deaf community. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress. 362.42 HOLC 1994
Author Roy Holcomb and his two sons provide entertaining glimpses of life in the deaf community.

Lane, H., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan, B. (1996). A journey into the Deaf-world. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress. 305.908162 LANE-2
Introduces readers to the lives, language, and culture of the deaf world. Examines the history, culture and political agenda of the deaf world and provides details on the education of deaf children, deaf culture worldwide, and technology that helps or hinders deaf people.

Moore, Matthew S. (1993). For hearing people only: answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Deaf community, its culture and the "Deaf reality". Rochester, NY: Deaf Life Press. 305.908162 MOOR 1993
Here, in a handy Q/A format, are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about deaf people, their community, and their language. e.g., "Is there one sign language for all countries?" "Do all deaf people read lips?" "What is Deaf culture?" "How do deaf people feel when a hearing person approaches them in public using sign language?" Each of the 60 chapters is illustrated. Easy-to-read, enjoyable introduction to a complicated subject. Written especially for those with NO background. 336 pages; includes index and bibliography. The first book of its kind. And the most popular "Deaf Studies" handbook ever! (From Deaf Life website).

Padden, C., & Humphries, T. (1988). Deaf in America: Voices from a culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 362.420973 PADD
This unique book illuminates the life and culture of deaf people from the inside, through their everyday talk, shared myths, art and performances, and the lessons they teach one another.

Power, D. (1996). Language, culture and community: deaf people and sign language in Australia. Brisbane, Qld.: Griffith University. Q305.908162 POWE
Discusses deafness in Australia, models of deafness, the Deaf community in Australia, Australian Sign Language and the Deaf community.

Signs of life [videorecording] : Australia's deaf community. (1989). Brisbane, Qld.: Brisbane College of Advanced Education. Video 305.908162 SIGN 2 copies
This informative portrait of the Australian deaf community shows deaf people, from young children to senior citizens, leading normal, purposeful lives, participating in the wide range of activities which their thriving community supports, working, playing, socialising and talking about their lives with inspiring candour, insight and humour.

Smith, D. (1996). In a small valley [videorecording]. [Sydney]: Open Channel. Video 419 INAS
Explores the unique but ignored cultural enclave: the world of the deaf. The program's message is that deafness is not a sickness, defect or handicap - though historically our society has treated it as such. Shows the life of Peter Adams, a deaf artist, and the campaign to have Auslan recognised as a language in its own right.

Stewart, D.A. (1991). Deaf sport: The impact of sports within the Deaf community. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 796.0872 STEW
This book describes the full ramifications of athletics for deaf people, from the meaning of individual participation to cultural bonding. Shows the positive psychological and educational impact of sports within the deaf community.

Wilcox, S. (Ed.). American Deaf culture: An anthology. Silver Spring, MD: Linstok Press. 305.908162 WILC
Deaf and hearing scholars and writers explore cultural issues, ASL, social interaction in the deaf community, education, folklore and other topics.

Woodward, J. (1983). How you gonna get to heaven if you can't talk to Jesus: On depathologizing Deafness. Silver Spring, MD: T.J. Publishers. 305.908162 WOOD
This collection of articles examines deaf culture and its relationship with hearing society, profiling sociolinguistic and anthropological perspectives in research on American deaf society and culture.

Wrigley, O. (1996). The politics of Deafness. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 WRIG
Drawing from a decade of experience among the deaf people in Thailand, Wrigley challenges theories about deaf identity and culture.

Deaf History

Christiansen, J.B. & Barnatt, S.N. (1995). Deaf president now! The 1988 revolution at Gallaudet University. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 371.91209753 CHRI
The account of an extraordinary week in deaf history traces the demonstration in March 1988 that protested the selection of a hearing person as president of Gallaudet University and resulted in the historic appointment of its first deaf president.

Fischer, R., & Lane, H. (Eds.). (1993). Looking back: A reader on the history of Deaf communities and their sign languages. Hamburg, Germany: Signum Press; Washington, DC: Distributor for the U.S., Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 FISC
Researchers detail historical developments around the world in a book organized into six core topics: deaf biographies, deaf communities, sign languages and sign systems, deaf education and daily life at school, sociological and philosophical issues as well as methodological and theoretical issues.

Gannon, J.R. (1981). Deaf heritage: A narrative history of Deaf America. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. Q305 GANN
This in-depth history of deaf America contains interesting vignettes and biographical profiles, and numerous engravings, photographs and illustrations.

Gannon, J.R. (1989). The week the world heard Gallaudet. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. Q371.912 GANN
This book presents a day-by-day account of the events surrounding the DPN movement as it unfolded at Gallaudet University 1988 March 6-13.

Groce, N.E. (1987). Everyone here spoke sign language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 362.4209744 GROC
Developed from the oral accounts of more than 50 witnesses, this book presents a detailed description of daily life early in this century when an entire community on Martha's Vineyard, deaf and hearing people alike, used sign language.

Jankowski, Katherine A. (1997). Deaf empowerment: Emergence, struggle, and rhetoric. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 362.420973 JANK
This book brings sharp focus to the critical effect of the rhetoric used by the deaf social movement, which fashions its image as a language minority within a dominant hearing culture rather than as a dispersed number of individuals with "impaired" hearing, thus challenging the hearing culture's definition of "normal." This book examines the deaf social movement in America from its inception in the 1800s through its growth and empowerment in current times. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Lane, H. (1984). The Deaf experience: classics in language and education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 362.420944 LANE
This is a collection of important French works written between 1764 and 1840 and now translated into English. They were written during, what some would say was a golden era in deaf education. They include many writings by deaf men, deaf leaders, intellectuals and educationalists; Pierres Desloges, Jean Massieu, de l'Epee and Sicard to mention a few. The writings had a significant influence in the United States at the time and have shaped the lives of Western deaf people down to the present. (From The Forest Bookshop website).

Lane, H. (1984). When the mind hears: a history of the deaf. New York: Random House. 305.908162 LANE (4 copies available, 3 for loan, 1 in Special Reserve)
The first comprehensive history of Deaf people, their education, and their struggle against prejudice. It is a powerful and compassionate study of prejudice and oppression. Scrupulously documented, but never dispassionate, it vividly conveys the anger and frustration of Deaf people who, deprived of their language, become deprived of their rightful heritage.

Van Cleve, J.V. (Ed.). (1993). Deaf history unveiled. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 DEAF
Fourteen essays by well-known scholars highlight the latest findings on the history of deaf people throughout the world during the past four centuries. Presents new evidence of self-determination of deaf people.

Opposing Viewpoints

Bertling, T. (1994). A child sacrificed to the Deaf culture. Wilsonville, Or. : Kodiak Media Group. 371.912 BERT
Bertling shares his subjective and unpopular (with the deaf community) views on deaf culture, deaf education, and deaf children. He attended a residential school and has deaf family members.This controversial book was written for educators and administrators, parents of deaf children, and those having a professional or social interest in the deaf. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Bertling, T. (1997). No dignity for Joshua : more vital insight into Deaf children, Deaf education, and Deaf culture. Wilsonville, Or. : Kodiak Media Group. 305.908162 BERT
Bertling surveys and offers subjective opinions on such controversial issues as cochlear implants, sexual abuse at residential deaf schools, militancy within the deaf community and deaf community leadership. Contributes to the on-going dialogue and debate of issues key to deaf community interests and to the education and assimilation of deaf children. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Bertling, T. (1998). American sign language: Shattering the myth. Wilsonville, Or.: Kodiak Media Group. 419 AMER
This controversial and unprecedented collection of essays from distinguished and respected scholars marks the turning point in the education of the deaf. Headlined with compositions and documents written by the late Dr. Larry G. Stewart and Prof. Frances M. Parsons, both once members of the faculty of Gallaudet University, the book opens the door for new thinking. With additional contributions from Dr. Otto J. Menzel, Dr. Donald F. Moores, Dr. Truman W. Stelle, and PhD student Patrick W. Seamans, all of these writers venture into the heart of deaf language and cultural issues and reward us with the kind of critical thinking largely absent from many proponents of ASL-based learning. Topics regarding the failure of Deaf education, Bilingual-Bicultural, immoral intimidation tactics, and other pressing points are mentioned. Personal accounts that go against the traditional ASL mindset are also given. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Bertling, T. (2001). An intellectual look at American Sign Language: Clear thinking on American Sign Language, English, and Deaf education. Wilsonville, Or. : Kodiak Media Group. 419 BERT
This book encompasses contributions from some of the researchers, educators, and commentators on sign language communication. In addition to American Sign Language, the contributors discuss deaf education, the importance of English reading and writing skills, deaf culture, ethical questions, Cochlear Implants, residential schools for the deaf, and the future of education and life for deaf children. The subjective opinions and unpopular (with the deaf community) in the book challenges and shows skepticism toward the ASL-based approach to learning for the deaf. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Winefield, R. (1987). Never the twain shall meet: Bell, Gallaudet and the communication debate. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 362.4283 WINE
The opposing viewpoints of Gallaudet and Bell, who started an educational debate in the middle of the 19th century that continues today, are presented: Should sign language be used in deaf education or should deaf children deail with a hearing, speaking world on its own terms? (From Gallaudet University Press  website).

Sign Language / Communication / Sociolinguistics

Baker, C. & Padden, C. (1978). American sign language: A look at its history, structure, and community. Silver Spring, MD: T.J. Publishers. 419 BAKE
This short brochure provides an excellent insight into the rich history of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture.

Baker, C. & Battison, R. (Eds.). (1980). Sign Language and the Deaf community: Essays in honor of William Stokoe. Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf. 419 STOK-1
This collection of essays written by professionals in the field of sign language research describes how sign language is used in society and how research on sign language has altered society's understanding of deaf people and their culture.

Baynton, D. (1996). Forbidden signs: American culture and the campaign against sign language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 419 BAYN
This book explores American culture from the mid-19th century to 1920 through the lens of one striking episode: the campaign led by AG Bell and other prominent Americans to suppress the use of sign language among deaf people. The metaphors and images used to describe the deaf: outsiders, beings of silence, innocence and mystery, users of a language seen as ancient and noble or primitive and animal-like - offer a unique perspective for examining American thought and culture. Recent changes in the images of deafness and sign language are discussed. (From the University of Chicago Press website).

Emmorey, K. & Lane, H. (2000). The signs of language revisited: an anthology to honor Ursula Bellugi. Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum. 419 EMMO-1 Do a Title Search in NEWCAT to view the Table of Contents of this book.

Klima, E. & Bellugi, U. (1979). The signs of language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 419 KLIM
This book is for use by linguists, educators, anthropologists who were in the 1970's and the 1980's beginning to realize that ASL was not a manual gesture system mimicking English, but rather a language in its own right. Dr. Bellugi and Dr. Klima have been working on exploring this language for the past 30 years, both in studying native signers (the prelingually deafened of deaf parents) and also in studying aphasics in the deaf community in comparison to aphasics in the hearing community. This particular book sticks mostly with elucidating the grammar, the lexicon, the syntax, and all the other components which make up ASL. (From Amazon Bookstore website).

Lucas, C. (2001). The sociolinguistics of sign languages. New York: Cambridge University Press. 306.440872 LUCA
This is an accessible introduction to the major areas of sociolinguistics as they relate to sign languages and deaf communities. Clearly organized, it brings together a team of leading experts in sign linguistics to survey the field, and covers a wide range of topics including variation, multilingualism, bilingualism, language attitudes, discourse analysis, language policy and planning. Each chapter introduces the key issues in each area of inquiry and provides a comprehensive review of the literature. (From Cambridge University Press website).

Lucas, C. (Ed.).(1998). Pinky extension and eye gaze: Language use in Deaf communities. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 419 LUCA-2
This volume's ten meticulously prepared chapters reflect the refinements of research in six major sociolinguistics areas. Rob Hoopes' work, "A Preliminary Examination of Pinky Extension: Suggestions Regarding Its Occurrence, Constraints, and Function," commences Part One: Variation with a sound explanation of this American Sign Language (ASL) phonological characteristic. Part Two: Languages in Contact includes findings by Jean Ann on contact between Taiwanese Sign Language and written Taiwanese.
Priscilla Shannon Gutierrez considers the relationship of educational policy with language and cognition in deaf children in Part Three: Language in Education, and in Part Four: Discourse Analysis, Melanie Metzger discusses eye gaze and pronominal reference in ASL. Part Five: Second-Language Learning presents the single chapter "An Acculturation Model for ASL Learners," by Mike Kemp. Sarah E. Burns defines Irish Sign Language as Ireland's second minority language after Gaelic, in Part Six: Language Attitudes, the final area of concentration in this rigorously researched volume. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Lucas, C. (1995). Sociolinguistics in deaf communities. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 LUCA
The first volume in the new Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series presents a rich collection of essays showcasing the breadth and depth of this exciting discipline. Topics of inquiry in the premiere volume include fingerspelling in Langue des Signes Quebecoise (LSQ) in Quebec, Canada; language used by a Navajo family with deaf children; language policy, classroom practice, and multiculturalism in deaf education; aspects of American Sign Language (ASL) discourse and of Filipino Sign Language discourse; and the nature and role of rhetorical language in Deaf social movements. Affords an invaluable opportunity to assess up-to-date information on sign language linguistics worldwide and its impact on policy and planning in education, interaction with spoken languages, interpreting, and the issues of empowerment. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Metzger, M. (Ed.). (2000). Bilingualism and identity in Deaf communities. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 419 METZ-1
Is perception reality? Editor Melanie Metzger investigates the cultural perceptions by and of deaf people around the world in volume six of the Sociolinguistics series Bilingualism and Identity in Deaf Communities. "All sociocultural groups offer possible solutions to the dilemma that a deaf child presents to the larger group," write Claire Ramsey and Jose Antonio Noriega in their essay, "Ninos Milagrizados: Language Attitudes, Deaf Education, and Miracle Cures in Mexico." In this case, Ramsey and Noriega analyze cultural attempts to "unify" deaf children with the rest of the community. Other contributors report similar phenomena in deaf communities in New Zealand, Nicaragua, and Spain, paying particular attention to how society's view of deaf people affects how deaf people view themselves. A second theme pervasive in this collection, akin to the questions of perception and identity, is the impact of bilingualism in deaf communities. Peter C. Hauser offers a study of an American child proficient in both ASL and Cued English while Annica Detthow analyzes "transliteration" between Spoken Swedish and Swedish Sign Language. Like its predecessors, this sixth volume of the Sociolinguistics series distinguishes itself by the depth and diversity of its research, making it a welcome addition to any scholar's library. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Root, James. (1999). The politics of visual language. Ottawa : Carleton University Press. 362.42 ROOT
This book is a ground-breaking study of the political socialization of children who are deaf. Debate has raged for years over how to educate the prelingually deaf - those children who cannot acquire language "normally" (that is, orally and aurally). While the battlelines have been drawn by the proponents of oralism versus manualism and their hearing supporters, two linguistic dilemmas facing D/deaf people remain constant: a conscious choice is always made for them as to the way they will be taught, and either method of language acquisition results in a form of marginalization. The Politics of Visual Language is a fascinating and unique perspective on the whole process of political socialization; unique because previous studies in this field have assumed that all participants in the process can hear. This work studies those who cannot hear and, while it attempts an impartial assessment of all educational methodologies, will undoubtedly raise new questions within the Deaf community and beyond. Sociologists, educators, medical professionals, linguists, psychologists and political scientists will have to reconsider the emotional and political effects of current assumptions about the socialization process. (From McGill-Queen's University Press website).

Stokoe, W.C. (1980). Sign and culture: A reader for students of American Sign Language. Silver Spring, MD: Linstok Press. 419 STOK
This book is a selection of papers that appeared in Sign Language Studies between 1972 and 1979. Contributors discuss the intricate connections between a signed or spoken language and the society that uses it.

Winston, E. (Ed.). (1999). Storytelling and conversation: Discourse in Deaf communities. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 419 WINS
In this intriguing book, renowned sociolinguistics experts explore the importance of discourse analysis, a process that examines patterns of language to understand how users build cooperative understanding in dialogues. It presents discourse analyses of sign languages native to Bali, Italy, England, and the United States.
Studies of internal context review the use of space in ASL to discuss space, how space in BSL is used to "package" complex narrative tasks, how signers choose linguistic tools to structure storytelling, and how affect, emphasis, and comment are added in text telephone conversations. Inquiries into external contexts observe the integration of deaf people and sign language into language communities in Bali, and the language mixing that occurs between deaf parents and their hearing children.
Both external and internal contexts are viewed together, first in an examination of applying internal ASL text styles to teaching written English to Deaf students and then in a consideration of the language choices of interpreters who must shift footing to manage the "interpreter's paradox." Storytelling and Conversation casts new light on discourse analysis, which will make it a welcome addition to the sociolinguistics canon. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Sociology / Anthropology

Benderly, B.L. (1990). Dancing without music: Deafness in America. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 362.420973 BEND
This book offers insightful discussion about being deaf and its ramifications in society, the relationship between thought processes and language, whether spoken or not, and the rights of deaf people.

Brueggemann, B.J. (1999). Lend me your ear: Rhetorical constructions of deafness. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 362.42 BRUE
The tradition of rhetoric established 2,500 years ago emphasizes the imperative of speech as a defining characteristic of reason. But this book exposes this tradition's effect of disallowing deaf people human identity because of their natural silence.Brueggemann's assault upon this long-standing rhetorical conceit is both erudite and personal; she writes both as a scholar and as a hard-of-hearing woman. In this broadly based study, she presents a profound analysis and understanding of this rhetorical tradition's descendent disciplines (e.g., audiology, speech/language pathology) that continue to limit deaf people. Next to this even-handed scholarship, she juxtaposes a volatile emotional counterpoint achieved through interviews with Deaf individuals who have faced rhetorically constructed restrictions, and interludes of her own poetry and memoirs.
The energized structure of Lend Me Your Ear galvanizes new thought on the rhetoric surrounding Deaf people by posing basic questions from a rhetorical context: How is deafness constructed as a disability, pathology, or culture through the institutions of literacy education and science/technology, and how do these constructions fit with those of deaf people themselves? The rhetoric of deafness as pathology is associated with the conventional medical and scientific establishments, and literacy education fosters deafness as disability, both dependent upon the premise that speech drives communication.
This kinetic study demands consideration of deafness in terms of the rhetoric of Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL), and the political activism of Deaf people. Brueggemann argues strenuously and successfully for a reevaluation of the speech model of rhetoric in light of the singular qualities of ASL poetry, a genre that adds the dimension of space and is not disembodied. Ironically, without a word being spoken or printed, ASL poetry returns to the fading, prized oral tradition of poets such as Homer. The speech imperative in traditional rhetoric also fails to present rhetorical forms for listening, or a rhetoric of silence. These and other break-out concepts introduced in Lend Me Your Ear that will stimulate scholars and students of rhetoric, language, and Deaf studies to return to this intriguing work again and again. (From Gallaudet University Press website).

Corker, Mairian. (1998). Deaf and disabled, or deafness disabled? Philadelphia: Open University Press. 305.908162 CORK
Deaf people's quest for self-definition and self-determination has tended to take one of 2 divergent paths each embracing vastly different and often conflicting conceptualizations of deafness and disability and their relationships to contemporary socio-cultural and political contexts. Because fragmentation works against collective empowerment and effective political challenges to oppression, there is a great need to identity a common discourse which all deaf and disabled people can share without compromising fundamental beliefs and values. This book is the first to use a multidisciplinary, postmodernist approach in the search for an inclusive framework for understanding deafness and disability, which aims to liberate the political potential of socio-cultural diversity and develop our thinking about disability as a form of social oppression. In using this approach, it exposes the essentialism inherent in existing social, politicial and service frameworks which confuse issues of needs and rights and contribute to the creation and reinforcement of the power imbalances at the heart of disability oppression. (From book cover).

Higgins, P. (1980). Outsiders in a hearing world: A sociology of deafness. Beverly Hills, Calif. : Sage Publications. 305 HIGG
This book offers a sociological perspective on what it is like to be deaf, and discusses some of the basic issues confronting the deaf community- identity, stigma, interaction with deaf and hearing people, and social status.

Higgins, P.C. & Nash, J.E. (Eds.). (1987). Understanding deafness socially. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Q305.908162 HIGG
In this collection of articles on the social dynamics of deafness, the authors explore socialization of children who are deaf and hard of hearing, lifelongadaptive behavior, deafness and family life, and other important issues.

Lane, H. (1999). The mask of benevolence: Disabling the Deaf community. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 305.908162 LANE-1 1999 (1992 ed. copy available also)
"Let the deaf be deaf" is the message of this book. The author views deafness as a state different from hearing, and deaf people as a societal minority who should be treasured, not eradicated.

Maher, J. (1996). Seeing language in sign: The work of William C. Stokoe. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 419.092 STOK-2 MAHE
Recounts Stokoe's work which scientifically proved that ASL completely meets the linguistic critera to be classified as a fully developed language.

Neisser, A. (1990). The other side of silence: Sign Language and the Deaf community in America. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 NEIS
Chronicles the culture of and issues within the deaf community through interviews and research from across the country.

Parasnis, I. (Ed.). (1996). Cultural and language diversity and the Deaf experience. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 305.908162 PARA
Presents a perspective that deaf people should be considered a cultural and language minority group rather than as individuals with an audiological impairment. Eighteen essays contributed by deaf and hearing educators, linguists, researchers, and community members support the efforts of deaf people to have ASL recognized in the planning of educational policies and curricula. Some contributed articles are: Ila Parasnis, "On Interpreting the Deaf Experience within the Context of Cultural and Language Diversity"; Susan Foster, "Communication Experiences of Deaf People: An Ethnographic Account"; R. Greg Emerton, "Marginality, Biculturalism, and Social Identity of Deaf People"; Gerald C. Bateman, "Attitudes of the Deaf Community Toward Political Activism"; Bonnie Meath-Lang, "Cultural and Language Diversity in the Curriculum: Toward Reflective Practice"; Susan C. Searls and David R. Johnston (Translated from the ASL by Susan D. Fischer and the Authors) "Growing up Deaf in Deaf Families: Two Different Experiences"; Patrick A. Graybill, "Another New Birth: Reflections of a Deaf Native Signer"; Gary E. Mowl, "Raising Deaf Children in Hearing Society: Struggles and Challenges for Deaf Native ASL Signers"; Dianne K. Brooks, "In Search of Self: Experiences of a Postlingually Deaf African-American"; Lynn Finton "Living in a Bilingual-Bicultural Family" and Patricia DeCaro, "On Being Both Hearing and Deaf: My Bilingual-Bicultural Experience"

Sacks, O. (1991). Seeing voices: A journey into the world of the Deaf. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 419 SACK 1991
This book takes us into the world of deaf people and the ways in which they were seen and treated in the past. Sacks looks at the present situation of deaf people, which, all too often, is still one of misunderstanding and mistreatment.

Schein, J.D. (1989). At home among strangers. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 362.420973 SCHE (2 copies available)
This book presents a portrait of the deaf community as a complex social network spanning the nation, including the history and culture of the deaf community, its structural underpinnings, intricacies of family life, issues in education and rehabilitation, economic factors, and interaction with the medical and legal professions.

Van Cleve, J.V., & Crouch, B.A. (1989). A place of their own: Creating the Deaf community in America. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. 305.908162 VANC (2 copies available)
Using original sources, this text traces the development of American deaf society to show how deaf people developed a common language and sense of community. Views deafness as the distinguishing characteristics of a distinct culture.

With special thanks to Joan Naturale, Wallace Library, Rochester Institute of Technology
for the use of the Encyclopedias and Book Section compilatio
n from her Deaf Culture Resources Guide


A selection of journals which may include articles on deaf culture, deaf identity or deaf community, which may be:

  • photocopied by visiting the library personally (if print version is held)
  • requesting photocopies of relevant articles identifed by student (for distance learning students remote from library) using email or faxing photocopying request form
  • obtaining possible fulltext articles via the online journal databases or direct Internet links

American Annals of the Deaf - available in print in the Library or fulltext (1997+) in Education Proquest online journal database

Australian Journal of Education of the Deaf - available in print in the Library

Bilingualism, Language and Cognition - available in print in the Library

Deaf History Journal - available in print in the Library

Deaf Worlds - available in print in the Library

Deafness and Education International - available in print in the Library

Disability and Society - available in print in Library (1995-1998) or some fulltext articles in
Education Proquest online journal database

Exceptional Children - available in print in the Library or some fulltext articles in
Education Proquest online journal database

Exceptional Parent - available in print in the Library or some fulltext articles in
Education Proquest online journal database

Focus on Exceptional Children - available in print in the Library or some fulltext articles in
Education Proquest online journal database

Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education - available in print in the Library or some fulltext articles in
Oxford Journals Online journal database

Journal of Special Education - available in print in the Library or some fulltext articles in Education Proquest online journal database

Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research -available in print in the Library
or some fulltext articles in Education Proquest online journal database

Odyssey - available online or in print in the Library

Sign Language Studies - available in print in the Library

Signpost - 1990-1995 available in print in the Library

Volta Voices - available in print in the Library; indexed in CINAHL


Internet Resources

A small selection of quality web sites dealing with aspects of deaf culture, identity and community.

The Deaf Resource Library
- an online collection of reference material and links intended to educate and inform people about Deaf cultures in Japan and the United States; as well as deaf and hard of hearing related topics

Info to Go - Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: "A centralized source of accurate, up-to-date, objective information on topics dealing with deafness and hearing loss in the age group of 0-21. Info to Go responds to a wide range of questions received from the general public, deaf and hard of hearing people, their families, and professionals who work with them. Info to Go collects, develops, and disseminates information on deafness, hearing loss, and services and programs related to children with hearing loss from birth to age 21."

Rochester Institute of Technology's compilation of deaf-related web sites


Google Search

Try doing your own Internet search

e.g. +deaf +culture


+"deaf culture" +Australia


+"deaf community"

Think of related terms and try using them in another search

e.g. +deafness +identity

The combinations of keywords can change the amount of information you find in your searches - Just keep experimenting

Online Journal Databases

Useful online journal databases, accessible on-campus and off-campus:

Online Journal Databases
Dealing with deaf culture and sign language topics. Some may contain fulltext articles, some may contain abstracts and citations only and others have a combination of both fulltext articles and abstracts/citations. (You must activate your Student ID and setup your web browser to be able to access these databases from off-campus. Please see instructions in your Library Guide on how to do this).

Australian Education Index - mainly citations with abstracts, some fulltext items

EBSCO MegaFile Premier - many fulltext items and citations with abstracts

Education Complete Proquest - many fulltext items and citations with abstracts

ERIC - mainly citations with abstracts, some fulltext items

Expanded Academic ASAP - many fulltext items and citations with abstracts

LLBA - Linguistics Language and Behavior Abstracts - mainly citations with abstracts