Deaf American Literature: From Canival to the Canon by Cynthia Peters

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By Cynthia Peters

Makes use of the archetypal inspiration of the carnival as a framework to interpret the evolution of ASL literature. This name indicates how Deaf artists and ASL performers have used and proceed to take advantage of their paintings as a method to traverse the obstacles among disenfranchisement and privilege.

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An oral literature does not have the same artistic concerns as written literature. As Bakhtin argues in Rabelais and His World, carnival specifically welcomes the literary and nonliterary, the printed and performative alike. 20 Therefore, at the Deaf American carnival, various forms and modes exist alongside one another, often intermixing quite subversively. Deaf American literature, particularly in its performative modes, is generally heterogeneous and inclusive. 21 He began by joking in serviceable ASL with his spectators about the Americans who were adopting Chinese children right and left.

Performed by Evelyn Zola, prod. V. Studios, 1994). Chris Stephenson, e-mail to author, May 1995. Susan R. D. , University of California at Berkeley, 1987), 14. “Clowning” is also often a vehicle for the expression of powerful social and political ideas, as can be seen in the traditional Punch and Judy puppet shows. The American manual alphabet has exactly twenty-six signs, one for each letter of the English alphabet: the first sign is the A handshape, the next is the B handshape, and so on. Chapter 3 Deaf Carnivals as Centers of Culture CARNIVALS, FESTIVALS, fairs, and conventions are a cornerstone of present-day Deaf culture.

Such a search for identity—or, more accurately, the evolving of a double identity—is the focus of much minority discourse and literature in the United States. 13 Drawing on the Pygmalion theme, Sign Me Alice and Sign Me Alice II were the first full-length theatrical productions at Gallaudet University to deal with deafness. Specifically, they examine Deaf identity in relation to the majority culture. The focus is on Alice who, while working as a maid at a large hotel, meets a learned doctor attending a convention who offers to help her better herself.

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