Through the examination of historical documents and contemporary experiences related to deaf education, church ministries and congregations for deaf people, and activism in the deaf community, it is possible to understand how religious rhetoric empowers a Deaf identity and advocates for the use and recognition of sign language. Historically, the deaf community in the United States has been oppressed by a dominant hearing community that has sought to control deaf Americans’ use of language. The influence of religion has helped the deaf community to acquire a language that encourages others to support the use and recognition of sign language. In this talk, I will explore examples that span from the beginning of an American Deaf culture to contemporary times in order to demonstrate how religious rhetoric has empowered the deaf community.
Tracy Ann Morse is Director of Writing Foundations and an associate professor of rhetoric and composition in the Department of English at East Carolina University. Her research and writing are in the areas of disability studies, deaf studies, and composition studies. Her work has been published in Rhetoric Review, Disability Studies Quarterly, Inventio, and the Journal of Teaching Writing. Her book, Signs and Wonders: Religious Rhetoric and the Preservation of Sign Language, was published by Gallaudet University Press. In addition, she co-edited Reclaiming Accountability: Using the Work of Re/Accreditation to Improve Writing Programs and Critical Conversations about Plagiarism both published by Parlor Press.
Friday, February 9 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm
McGowan South, 105
1110 W Belden Ave