Deafness and Ethnic Identity: The Idea of a Deaf State and its Resonances with American Exceptionalism and Frontier Ideology

Autor/a: RANA, Marion
Año: 2019
Editorial: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Vol. 67, nº 1 (2019)
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


This article focuses on the nineteenth century as a pivotal time for the development of a Deaf identity in the United States and examines the way John Jacob Flournoy’s idea of a “Deaf-Mute Commonwealth” touches upon core themes of American culture studies and history. In employing pivotal democratic ideas such as egalitarianism, liberty, and self-representation as well as elements of manifest destiny such as exceptionalism and the frontier ideology in order to raise support for a Deaf State, the creation and perpetuation of a Deaf identity bears strong similarities to the processes of American nation-building. This article will show how the endeavor to found a Deaf state was indicative of the separationist and secessionist movements in the United States at that time, and remains relevant to Deaf group identity today.