The cripple walked! The cripple talked!”: Contextualising Sign Language and Audism in Memoirs of Deafness

Autor/a: SAIKIA, Bonjyotshna
Año: 2021
Editorial: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 13(4): 1-9
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


The hegemony of speech has created notions of superiority among the hearing community propagating an audist attitude, which Tom Humphries defines as a form of discrimination towards the deaf in a hearing- dominant society. Deafness as a social phenomenon necessitates a reconsideration of the status of speech and sound. The huge chasm between the hearing and the deaf can be resolved only through the normalisation of every mode of communication. In a close reading of two memoirs of deafness: Henry Kisor’s What’s That Pig Outdoors? (1990) and Madan Vashishta’s Deaf in Delhi (2006), this article examines the similar experiences of the deaf from different linguistic, national and cultural backgrounds. Drawing theoretical insights from Leonard Davis, Neil Stephen Glickman, and Dirksen Bauman, among others, the article argues that these memoirs enable a non-essentialised perception of deafness and question the preconceived stance in relation to language. In so doing, the article also addresses the status of Sign Language as a means of communication in contemporary times.