DEAF space, a history: The production of DEAF spaces emergent, autonomous, located, and disabled in 18thand 19th-century France

Autor/a: GULLIVER, Mike
Año: 2009
Editorial: Bristol: University of Bristol, 2009
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


DEAF people do not describe themselves as those ‘disabled’ by an inability toaccess hearing spaces. Rather, they celebrate an alternative, DEAF spacethat isproduced as contexts such as urban centres, long-term DEAF families, and schoolsfor deaf children allow them extended opportunities to come together, author DEAFlanguages and cultures, and transmit them from one generation to the next.This thesis employs Lefebvre’s Production of Space to describe examples of thisDEAF space revealed inFrance in the 18th and 19th centuries. It does so in four stages. The first begins by locating three DEAF space emergents that span theperiod of the Enlightenment. The second moves to 1760 to identify a further DEAFspace emergent and describes the way in which the administrative neglect thatfollowed the French Revolution afforded it the autonomy it required to blossomtowards maturity. The third follows the same DEAF space through the 1830s toexamine the way in which the corrective philanthropy of early anthropologistscaused DEAF people to begin to locate their production of DEAF space in relation tospaces of the hearing world. The fourth identifies a later example of that DEAFspace locatedand demonstrates how it was manipulated by DEAF and hearinggroups within the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, ultimately resulting in thedisabling and disempowering of the DEAF community.The research demonstrates that these DEAF spaces, although contextuallyminoritarian, were as valid as the realities of the surrounding hearing-authoredworld. It, therefore, offers a unique lens through which to examine DEAF people ontheir own terms and a way to move current theoretical representations of DEAFpeople’s reality away from notions framed by compensatory or contestatory‘geographies of dis-ability’ towards ‘geographies of ability’ that validate DEAF spacealongside other humanpursuitsof a Lefebvrian Totalité.