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  • Mary Beth Kitzel 7:02 pm on June 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    The International Conference in Deaf Geographies
    27 & 28 June, 2016
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Rochester NY

    https://www.rit.edu/cla/deafgeogconference/

    REGISTER TODAY!

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

    Edmund Booth on Attending Church Services (1880) 

    (Reposted from https://mbkitzel.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/edmund-booth-on-attending-church-services-1880/)

     

    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 archive.org. at https://archive.org/details/ProceedingsOfTheNationalConventionOfDeaf-mutes1st-2nd )

    (Image sources:

    Proceedings cover: https://archive.org/details/ProceedingsOfTheNationalConventionOfDeaf-mutes1st-2nd

    Booth’s portrait: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=52099140)

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 3:43 pm on March 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    The DeafSpace project has been enjoying wonderful press recently. Congratulations!

    http://www.curbed.com/2016/3/2/11140210/gallaudet-deafspace-washington-dc

    Check out this piece from curbed.com.

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

    Field School in Deaf Geographies 2016 

    FSDG Poster 2016

    https://www.rit.edu/cla/academics-programs/summer-programming

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 7:34 pm on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    CFP: International Conference in Deaf Geographies, 29-30 June 2015, Rochester, New York 

    CALL FOR PAPERS

    The International Conference in Deaf Geographies

    29-30 June 2015

    Field School in Deaf Geographies

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    Rochester, New York

    The Field School in Deaf Geographies (FSDG) announces a two-day conference, the International Conference in Deaf Geographies (29-30 June 2015). The conference brings together researchers from around the world whose interests engage with the themes of Deaf Geographies. It serves as an invaluable forum where all those interested in this research arena can connect with the network of Deaf Geographers and appreciate the diversity of expertise that is emanating from a broad array of disciplinary perspectives in the humanities and social sciences. Critically, the conference will afford participants the opportunity to participate in important discussions regarding future research conducted by the school.

    We are hereby calling on those academics whose work intersects with Deaf Geographies to submit abstracts for papers to be featured in the conference panel discussions. Abstracts are to be between 200 and 250 words, and are to be submitted to Mary Beth Kitzel, Director, (contact details as below) by Friday, 27 March 2015.

    The Field School in Deaf Geographies is settling into its new home at the Rochester Institite of Technology, Rochester, New York. Rochester, home of the National Technical Institute of the Deaf and the Rochester School for the Deaf, is world-famous for its large and thriving Deaf community. What an incredible location for Deaf Geographic research! The FSDG will run five weeks from 1 June to 2 July 2015. The school’s curriculum will have a dual focus on both human geographical perspectives on the history of Deaf space, as well as on the theory and methods of human geography. The fundamental learning goals of the field school are to thoughtfully and critically engage with Human Geographic research from a Deaf cultural perspective, and to encourage the enthusiasm and efforts of new researchers at all levels of study in this exciting new area of research. The conference will offers participating students the opportunity to present their project’s research findings and to collect feedback from the visiting academics.

    The registration fees for the conference are $40.00 (USD).[*] The conference website is still under construction. Details are forthcoming.

    DEADLINE for Abstracts: Friday, 27 March 2015

    For additional information and abstract submission, please contact:

    Dr Mary Beth Kitzel

    Director

    Field School in Deaf Geographies

    Department of History

    College of Liberal Arts

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    92 Lomb Memorial Drive

    Rochester, New York 14623-5603

    USA

    email: mekgsh@rit.edu

    FSDG’s homepage: https://www.rit.edu/cla/academics-programs/summer-programming

    FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Field-School-in-Deaf-Geographies/455514657849914

    [*] Fees are waived for RIT faculty and staff, but registration is still required.

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 1:28 am on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , E-space, Virtual Space   

    Virtual (and transnational) Deaf Space 

    Today, I met  Siglinde Pape, of Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Langage, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand (France). Siglinde visited one of my classes and told us a little about a project she is working on to bring together ASL signers and LSF signers to teach each other their sign and written languages – ASL, LSF, French, and English.
    It captured my attention as the project is creating a virtual Deaf Space, an E-space, for the purpose of education. It represents  a new form of Deaf-authored Space. The potential for research here is very exciting.

    Here’s a link to the project:  http://signescale.wordpress.com/

    And another to a report about the project: https://edutice.archives-ouvertes.fr/edutice-01068052

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 7:31 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    FSDG finds a new home in Rochester, NY! 

    The Field School in Deaf Geographies has found a new home. We are very fortunate to have landed at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY, and home of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). Rochester has a ‘deep’ Deaf history and the community here is counted as the largest per capita in the US. It is most definitely a ‘sign language-friendly’ city.
    FSDG has landed in a wonderful laboratory in which to study how signing peoples negotiate spaces and places. I hope you will help the school celebrate it’s new location! Please stay tuned for additional information. If you would like to get in touch about anything regarding the school, please contact me at mekgsh@rit.edu.

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 1:29 pm on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Human Geography, Methods   

    Announcing the 2014 Field School in Deaf Geographies! 

    We are happy to announce the second year of the field school.

    Program Schedule 2014 Dates: June 23 – July 27

    Program Location: Herstmonceux Castle, Hailsham, East Sussex

    Enrolment / Deadline: 20 students. Apply by March 15th, 2014

    Participant Profile: Undergraduate students with Level 2 standing

    Feel free to look at our website for more details:

    http://queensu.ca/bisc/academics/programs/upper-year/specialized-programs-2014/deaf-geographies

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 1:13 pm on June 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Herstmoncuex Castle, Queen's University (Canada)   

    Workshop in Deaf Geographies 

    Download this invitation and programme (PDF)

    Download the registration form for physical attendance (.doc)

    Please note, to access the free webcast, you’ll need to pre-register by emailing deaf_geog@bisc.queensu.ac.uk and providing an email address. We’ll then set you up with a login.

    Field School of Deaf Geographies
    Queen’s University (Canada)
    Bader International Study Centre
    Herstmonceux Castle
    12-14 July 2013

    The staff and students of the Field School of Deaf Geographies would like to warmly invite you to attend the first international Workshop in Deaf Geographies, 12-14 July, 2013, hosted by Queen’s University (Canada) Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in Hailsham, East Sussex. The Workshop will bring together student and professional researchers who are experts in the field, and is open to all those interested in the intersections of Human Geography and Deaf culture, community, and history.

    Research into the Geographies and Historical Geographies of the Deaf community has recently emerged as one of the most exciting, developing areas of Human Geography. Drawing together questions of embodiment, communication, culture and belonging, Deaf Geographies ask what these fundamental building blocks of humanness look like through the eyes of a community who perform their cultural and social geographies in the visual.

    The event will be interpreted between spoken English, BSL, and ASL, and is specifically designed to provide a balance between academic discussion and social interaction.

    Workshop attendees are welcome to stay in on-site accommodation or register for day attendance. Overnight accommodation, including meals, is available at the very reasonable rate of £10.50 per person/£15.30 with spouse (VAT incl), per night. Places are limited. Please register before Friday, 28 June.
    Day attendance includes lunch and dinner at the day rate of £4.80 (incl. VAT). Participants will need additional funds for personal spending, insurance, and transport to/from Herstmonceux Castle. You are welcome to attend without reserving a place, but pre-registration is preferred. Day rate fees may be paid on arrival.

    For those of you too far to attend in person but would still be interested in participating, please consider joining us virtually that weekend. We are taking the conference to the web via the Blackboard Collaborate System. Pre-registration is required for that as well. Virtual attendance registration will be available until 8 July.

    If you are interested in joining us in person or virtually, please contact us at deaf_geog@bisc.queensu.ac.uk.

    Please feel free to share this invitation with colleagues you think might be interested in participating.

    We look forward to welcoming you to the Castle.

    Sincerely,
    Mary Beth

     
  • Mary Beth Kitzel 2:30 pm on July 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Applied Deaf Space Studies

    This is a 99% Invisible broadcast of a piece on DeafSpace. Congratulations to both Robert and Hansel! Well done, gentlemen!
    Check it out!

    http://99percentinvisible.org/post/19766488504/episode-50-deafspace

     
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