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  • Mike Gulliver 11:27 am on April 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Updating resources 

    I’ve added a number of additional papers to the resources page, including the most recent publication by Dai O’Brien: Theorising the deaf body: using Lefebvre and Bourdieu to understand deaf spatial experience. Cultural Geographies.  Online open access version, released March 19, 2021.

    The paper is one of the first to really begin to address the embodied end of the scale of deaf geographical exploration.

    I’ve also added information about the 2011 Seattle AAG, with a list of the papers… I know it’s ten years ago, but if any of the presenters would like to furnish me with a copy of their text etc., I’ll gladly add them to the resources page.

  • Mike Gulliver 12:23 pm on April 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    A new post… 

    For four years this blog has lain dormant.

    Now I’m slowly bringing it back to life.

    My first priorities will be to update the resources page, tidy away out of date information, and update the ‘about’.

    In anticipation of its return to use, this is a new post for the landing page (to replace the last one, which was from 2016!)

  • Mike Gulliver 11:20 am on September 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    T vs Deaf space 


    Yesterday, at the Annual Conference of the Institute of British Geographers (big… BIG international conference, very prestigious), we ran a session on ‘Deaf Spaces, old and new, the challenges of Deaf heritage’. The session drew together participants from academia, the heritage sector and the Deaf community, to discuss the nature of Deaf space and Deaf heritage, its relationship with the built environment, the relationship between Deaf heritage and the heritage industry/sector, and the experience of both deaf and hearing people in navigating within some of those areas. 

    I’ll share some of the content of the session in another post. But while the event is fresh in my mind, I wanted to thank the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers for their support in getting some of the practical aspects of the session (particularly communication) sorted out.

    The session was deliberately set up as a panel (rather than 5 straight papers…

    View original post 485 more words

  • Mike Gulliver 12:41 pm on June 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    ICDG 2016 post conference info and contacts 

    This is a listing of content and contacts from the ICDG 2016 for future reference.

    Twitter feed

    The conference was (somewhat sporadically) live tweeted, on #ICDG16.


    … of both presentations and (I think?) discussions will be forthcoming soonish, after they have been error-checked by the presenters. I’ll post a link here when they are available.

    Programme and abstracts

    … are available currently at or through a static pdf copy on this site that will live on after RIT have purged their system.

    Presenters (and conference Chair)

    … were (with links to more info, incl. contact where available)

  • Mary Beth Kitzel 7:02 pm on June 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The International Conference in Deaf Geographies
    27 & 28 June, 2016
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Rochester NY


  • Mike Gulliver 10:34 am on May 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    A mystery find… 

    This is an amazing map of Deaf and blind school locations, and travel times between them by different methods, in 1837. But I have no source. It was given to me as a photocopy, and I’ve never been able to find out where it came from. It’s from a German text, and clearly not from 1837 but much later… Can anyone help?


    • Anne 4:39 pm on May 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Mike —

      It’s Nothwendigkeit der allgemein einzuführenden Elementar-Bildung der Taubstummen by Franz Herrmann Czech, (P. P. Mechitaristen, 1839).


      • Mike Gulliver 7:26 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Anne, this is brilliant. Do we have any idea how the data for the book was constructed… it seems to match the 4th circulaire from the Paris school, even down to the errors!

    • Anne 4:45 pm on May 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I DL’ed a copy of another book last year from some Digitale Bibliothek or another, with the same image, if you want that info.

      • Mike Gulliver 7:25 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        yes please, that would be great :)

    • E. 8:11 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Sure, and yes it’s Bebian stuff (see p. 39). Sorry I can’t reply on Deaf History FB — my join request is in a 1000+ long list.

    • E. 8:36 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The artist on all the Bilder seems to be the same guy, but I think my Bibliothek copy is more legible. Meanwhile, see p. 410:

      “Tabelle 72 enthält die Uebersicht aller, sowohl der im Jahre 1837 bestandenen, als auch vor dem eingegangenen oder in andere Orte verlegten Anstalten, zur Bildung der Taubstummen und Blinden, wie auch zur Bildung der Taubstummen-Lehrer.”

    • E. 8:56 pm on May 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The engravers are a “L. Rieder” and a “Piekacz”. The DL’ed book I have is pretty much the same:

      • E. 6:10 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry I keep spamming this post. As referenced on FB, I see Bristol has it, but I also own a copy of Fischer & Lane (eds.) Looking Back: A Reader on D Communities and their SLs. The image appears in Pinna, Pagliara, Rampelli, Rossinia, and Volterra’s “Written and Unwritten Records from a Residential School for the Deaf in Rome” (pp. 349-376). No additional information about the data.

        • Mike Gulliver 6:38 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink

          I have a copy of ‘looking back’ and I’ve found it in there, but it has no original source, and as a historian… that bugs me.

        • E. 8:49 pm on May 29, 2016 Permalink

          Oh, Mike. So many things bug me re: history’s shadow economy. Problem is, this otherwise great article aside — first slapdash attempts rushed to press metastasize into all subsequent citations. What’s that formula about the exponential energy required to fix scholarshi*, relative to the calories expended to produce it?

    • Mike Gulliver 1:14 pm on June 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on MIKE GULLIVER.

  • Mary Beth Kitzel 8:28 pm on March 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Edmund Booth on Attending Church Services (1880) 

    (Reposted from


    mutes1st-2nd )

    This semester, I’m teaching a course on U.S. Deaf History by using manuscripts and primary commentary of major Deaf issues and events by Deaf authors. Last week we discussed the first NAD conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, by looking at the Proceedings of the Convention. In addition to organizational details, the Proceedings records topics ranging across multiple areas of concern to the late 19th century participants, including issues of faith, i.e., the non-denominational Deaf Bible Study groups forming in urban centres to a critique of the Episcopal Church’s leadership in Deaf ministries.

    While most of the Convention participants were under the age of 30, an elder at 70, Mr. Edmund Booth (1810-1905) of Iowa, the owner and editor Anamosa Eureka, was one of the three organisers and served as the temporary chair of this first national Deaf event. Below, I have pasted Edmund Booth’s colourful commentary of his church experiences and how a few typical ‘hearing’ church spaces do not meet the needs of sign language people.

    Remarks of Mr Edmund Booth

    When in a town or a small city there is an Episcopal Church and only one or a few deaf-mutes, not enough of sufficient numbers to employ or pay a preacher in the sign-language, it might be advisable for such mutes to attend the Episcopal service. There they can read in the book of Common Prayer (or whatever the book may be called) while the Clergyman is reading at the desk. I know of mutes whose families are connected with other than Episcopal Churches, and in every such case the mutes prefer to go with their families, some member being always ready and willing to furnish the text or point out the hymn. The advantages in these two cases are about equal. ‘Three years ago, I attended an Episcopal service in Chicago. Rev. Mr. Mann officiated. It was in the vestry of the church, and the windows admitted the clear light of heaven. It all went well and was perfectly satisfactory.

    And now comes the dark side. Some weeks since, I attended church on the Sabbath in Chicago, the preachers being Revs. Gallaudet and Mann, with the regular pastor of the Church for the hearing portion of the congregation. “A dim religious light” prevailed, perfectly proper, doubtless, for the hearing people; but for the mutes a fiat reversal of the command, “-Let there be light.” I and some other mutes were seated some distance from the platform. The preacher’s face was mostly in darkness, and when seen was alternately bronze, vermilion, sky-blue, or some other color, bringing to me the re- collection of the “noble red men” of forty years ago in the forest. These various hues came from the stained windows stained to shut out the light. So far as hearing people are concerned, I find no fault with this. In their case all looked well. Even the pastor addressing them appeared just as he should, vestments and all.

    But for those addressing the mute part of the congregation it struck me as a burlesque. It was difficult, at the point where I and others were seated, to gather what was said, and impossible to catch a single word on their fingers. The eye could not penetrate with clear vision the body of more than semi-darkness which floated between us and the preachers. The service to us profited nothing. Episcopal churches are built for hearing people, not for the deaf.

    Two evenings ago, some of us attended Episcopal service at one of the churches in this city  of Cincinnati. There were three clergymen for the mutes and one for the hearing, all in canonicals. Again the one for the hearing looked well, and performed his part well, and, as at Chicago, the others were, in large degree, a farce. It is hard language, I know, and I speak it not willingly, but it is time to tell them the plain truth, for not one of the three seems to have given thought to the fact that to bring light to the mind of a deaf-mute, there must be light for the eye. The gaslights were arranged solely for a hearing congregation, but a little common sense, in which they appear sadly wanting, might induce our preachers to place themselves where, not their backs, but their faces, arms and hands could be seen to best advantage by those sitting in front of them. And even then there is still the annoyance from the dazzling gaslight, but that is a lesser evil than the absurdity of not light enough to know what the reverend gentlemen are saying. Theatrical managers are “wiser than the children of light.”

    Another trouble, of slight importance perhaps, but which is not only out of place, but looks ridiculous. I have said the vestments of the Episcopal clergy look well on one who ministers to the hearing. Hanging from the arms of one using signs, the constant flutter, and especially in a darkened church, or where the preacher stands in an unfavorable position as regards light, these wide white sleeves are far more conspicuous than the. Motion of his arms or the play of his fingers. Where it is so difficult or so impossible to know what he is saying, we are apt to think of a scarecrow in a cornfield, with its rags fluttering in the wind. Our preachers should have something of that most uncommon of all things, common sense. Thomas H. Gallaudet, who first established preaching by signs, was largely possessed of that commodity, and would never have dreamed of preaching to mutes in a darkened church or with lights so placed as to dazzle to the eyes and throw little or no light where light is most needed.

    (from Proceedings p.26-28)

    As a human geographer, I am continually fascinated by the ways in which 19th-century Deaf people came together to form Deaf Spaces, and the multitude of ways in which they did this – be it physical spaces (a la today’s DeafSpace project at Gallaudet University) or metaphysical spaces signing people create in their everyday social interactions. Booth’s commentary lets us glimpse through his deaf eyes, his ecclesiastic experiences – from coping in small town settings, like I imagine Anamosa, Iowa, most likely was, to what seems more like an ideal situation for him, attending services in a clear-windowed vestry in Chicago. I think my favourite bits are when he describes ‘the dark side’. Booth was clearly possessed a fine wit.

    Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 16.04.19

    (If you are interested in reading more about the Convention and the Deaf issues of the day, check out the Proceedings on at )

    (Image sources:

    Proceedings cover:

    Booth’s portrait:

  • Mike Gulliver 6:22 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Summary of discussions about Deaf space and place at the ‘Lost Spaces’ event in Bristol, UK – yesterday, the VS1 film will be available on Vimeo soon, and I’ll put up a link when I get it.

    The event was the feedback and conclusion session from the UK’s AHRC-funded Connected Communities project exploring what the Bristol Deaf community’s response has been to losing both their Deaf Centre, and the Centre for Deaf Studies.

    Having screened the film, there was a discussion between those present (mostly Deaf community) about the picture that it painted of the situation in Bristol, and of the local community’s response… to see Deaf people knowingly mobilising ‘space’, ‘place’ and other geographical concepts of being-in-the-world (incl. landscape) through sign was great. There are signs emerging for the concepts themselves apart from the everyday meanings, and for the difference between them, and it’s clear that the wider Deaf community (not just academics) are beginning to take ownership of the concepts, and wrestle with their use to describe and analyse situations and events.

    Most striking was a discussion about the difference between space as buildings, space as community, space as relationships, and what opting for a ‘space-based’ or ‘place-based’ activism might have in crafting a future for the local community. Credit for this goes to the project’s Deaf leadership, Dai O’Brien, Hilary Sutherland, who have synthesised the theory into their work and used it in a way that has led others to begin to pick it up.

    More, I hope, in time from this project – but in the meantime, here’s the link to the event.

  • Mary Beth Kitzel 3:43 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The DeafSpace project has been enjoying wonderful press recently. Congratulations!

    Check out this piece from

  • Mary Beth Kitzel 6:07 pm on March 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Field School in Deaf Geographies 2016 

    FSDG Poster 2016

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