The personal is political in The Deaf Mute Howls: deaf epistemology seeks disability justice

Autor/a: ROBINSON, Octavian; HENNER, Jonathan
Año: 2017
Editorial: Disability & Society 32(1):1-21
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Comunidad y cultura sorda


This article builds on Carol Padden and Tom Humphries’ assertion that culturally identified deaf people inhabit a different center of knowledge than the non-deaf. Over generations of inhabiting a different center, deaf people have developed and transmitted embodied knowledge. The core of this knowledge is the role of sign language in developing language, cognition, and social structures. Modern fields of science search for truth by deconstructing false narratives. That is, anything worth being scientific is worth testing. While this approach may be effective for science, it devalues community knowledge since core tenets have no value until they are tested. To illustrate this, we critique a literary work, The Deaf Mute Howls, by deaf writer Albert Ballin in 1930. His work is particularly compelling because he suggests a radical approach to disability justice. Many of his claims were later verified by science, which presents questions about future research praxis centering deaf epistemology.