We have selected the following presentations for the DHI2018 conference program – the final program schedule will be available in April-May.

Kaivalagi Influence in the Fiji Deaf Community

Presenters: 
Kate Matairavula, Australia
Venasio Tamainai, Fiji

This presentation will explore the influence of three kaivalagis (foreigners) who lived and worked in Fiji and whose mission was to work for the betterment of deaf people in Fiji in various ways. All three were themselves colonised and may have unwittingly imposed further colonisation on deaf people in Fiji primarily through the privileging of spoken and signed English.

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Deaf Colony Schemes In Canada

Presenter: 
Clifton Carbin, Canada

In the 1880s and 1890s, Jane Elizabeth Groom, a deaf missionary from Hackney, near London, England, brought a group of deaf British settlers to the western part of Canada in an attempt to colonize or disperse them with farm work.  Many of them were near starvation and could not find work in their home country.

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‘Post-Colonialism’ – Deaf People Internalising Colonialist Attitudes: The Case of Deaf Missioners in Early 1900s UK

Presenter: 
Melinda Napier, UK

In the early 20th Century, Deaf Missioners were employed by organisations to work at Deaf and Dumb Institutes and Missioner-run clubs where they provided a wide range of services from social work, interpreting, organisation of social events, arrangement of entertainment to church services.  Deaf people went to missioners for advice, interpreting, accompany them to job interviews and hospitals, read their letters and explain what they were and so on as they had the “Ask Missioner” and “Missioner said…” mindset.

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Reconsidering The Influence Of Japan’s Colonial Rule In The Early 20th Century On Deaf History In East Asia

Presenter: 
Dr. SUEMORI Akio, Japan

This study attempts to reconsider the contribution of Japan’s colonial rule in Taiwan, Korea, and other areas in the early 20th century toward deaf history, especially sign languages at schools for the deaf, from the viewpoints of colonialism and post-colonialism, which doesn’t necessarily denote colonial apologism.

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Signed English As Linguistic Colonialism: One Community’s Experience In Reclaiming Its Language

Presenter: 
Dr Angela Dillon, Lecturer, TAFESA – Australia

During the 1970s, Australia, like much of the Western World, adopted a Total Communication philosophy within its Deaf education systems. Australia and New Zealand jointly designed their own Signed English system, called ‘Australasian Signed English’ to be used in implementing simultaneous speech in conjunction with manually coded English in classrooms.

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Deaf President Now 30 Years Later: Deaf Women As Colonial Subjects And Actors

Presenters: 
Octavian Robinson, Senior Lecturer, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, U.S.A. 
Deirdre Schlehofer, Associate Professor, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.  

Thirty years has passed since the Deaf President Now (DPN), a seminal civil rights movement for deaf people, took place. Scholars and deaf activists claim DPN has made a tremendous impact on advancing the human, civil, and linguistic rights of deaf people. In retrospective, very little has been written about Deaf women and their significant role in DPN despite the protest being centered on removing the first woman appointed to Gallaudet’s top post.

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Post-Colonial Influences On Australian Deaf Education: The Visit Of The Ewings

Presenters: 
Breda Carty
, PhD, Lecturer in Special Education, RIDBC Renwick Centre/Macquarie University – Australia
John Hay, Retired researcher and writer on Deaf History – UK

Great Britain established a penal colony in Australia in the late 18th century, and although Australia became an independent nation in 1901, the effects of the colonial relationship lingered into the 20th century. One example was the development of deaf education. Australia’s deaf education system was imported from 19th century Britain and Ireland, and many British and Irish teachers – both deaf and hearing – were early pioneers in establishing schools and teaching methods.

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Deaf Homesteaders Of Saskatchewan – A Deaf Colony?

Presenter: 
Gregory Desrosiers, Canada

The Canadian Dominion government offered a grant for 160 acres of free land if potential homesteaders paid a registration fee of ten dollars.  Hundreds of deaf settlers who were prepared to live on and cultivate the land between 1903-1904 in the area of the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan moved from Great Britain and the eastern Canadian provinces to take advantage of this free land.

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Mapping Stories, Enhancing Recognition. A Collaborative Research With The Argentine Deaf Community

Presenter: 
Prof. Juan Carlos Druetta

This paper describes the presentation and startup of a social and technological development project (Spanish acronym PDTS) which is aimed to rebuild the History of Argentine Deaf starting from a collaborative research experience and to design an intersectional cartography of the Argentine Deaf Community.  As a requirement, PDTSs were asked to be related to specific social claims and they also had to include the claimants in the research process.

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“Not Deaf Sign” – Total Communication: Liberation Or Oppression

Presenters: 
Sonia Pivac, Trustee, SignDNA (Deaf National Archive, New Zealand)
Daniel Hanks, Trustee, SignDNA (Deaf National Archive, New Zealand)

New Zealand was one of the world’s strongest advocates for the Oral method of Deaf education. Gerrit van Asch was imported in 1880 by the New Zealand government to open a new school for the deaf in Christchurch. His methods set the template for Deaf education in New Zealand for the next century.

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Colonial And Postcolonial American Influence On Deaf Education In The Philippines: The Deaf Filipino Experience  

Presenters: 
Ana Kristina M. Arce, M.A., De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines
Maricris Galang,  De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines
Theresa Christine De La Torre, M.A., De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila, Philippines
Christopher A.N. Kurz, P.h.D., Associate Professor, NTID, USA

The Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards for 333 years, 48 years by the Americans and 3 years by the Japanese. The colonial Spanish government started the free, compulsory law in 1863, and the colonial Americans initiated the highly centralized public school system beginning 1901. The first American teachers sent by the United States government were called Thomasites. English was the primary language they used in education. The early American teacher to teach Filipino deaf learners was Ms. Delight Rice in 1907, and she helped establish the School for the Deaf and Blind. As a result, deaf students learned English using different modalities: Speaking, writing, reading and signing while blind students learned spoken English.  

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Frameworks and Methods in Deaf Studies: An Organic Approach to Deafening Disciplinary Research  

Presenters: 
Naomi Sheneman
, Ph.D. Candidate, Gallaudet University, USA
Octavian Robinson, Senior Lecturer, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, USA

This paper offers a critical interrogation of the application of colonial frameworks in Deaf Studies research. By coopting the colonial framework, we obscure what is unique about the deaf historical experience. While conceding shared tropes of power, autonomy, and exploitation, this paper rejects the colonial framework for understanding or interpreting deaf people’s historical experiences. The central question is how deaf historians might develop a theoretical toolbox that contextualizes race and whiteness without appropriating from critical race studies, gender studies, colonial studies, or other ethnic studies fields.

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The Oral History Of Karelian Deaf People 1939-1944  

Presenter: 
Outi Ahonen, Finland

Finland gained independence in 1917, Karelia was divided between the two states, Finland and Soviet Union. After the second world war (1939-1944) a total of 430 000 evacuees, 407 000 of whom were Karelians, were resettled in different parts of the Finland. The Karelian evacuees assimilated quickly and have since played a significant role in the political, economic, scientific and cultural life of their new communities and the country as a whole. The Karelian city, Viipuri had the lively Deaf club. There is the 50 deaf persons of stories in my study, how the life changed before the war and after the war. The Karelian deaf people have the different experiences. From a colonialism perspective, is the Karelian deaf person Finnish, Russian or Karelian? What is Karelian deaf person identity like? 

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Deaf Convicts In The Australian Colonies  

Presenter: 
Darlene Thornton, Australia

This paper focus on the types of experience Deaf convicts would have had in the Australian colonies. Approximately 25 deaf convicts were sent to the Australian colonies between 1790 and 1845.  Clues gleaned through official and non-official sources have revealed how those deaf convicts would have lived, worked, and socialised, and how their identities could have evolved during their lives in the colonies.

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“We’re Deaf Women! We’re Sisters”: Exploring The Female Deaf Voice Through Community And Commensality

Presenter: 
Sandra Hoopmann, Australia

Deaf people are rendered invisible in Australian scholarly and feminist writings and in mainstream history books. In this thesis, I contend that discourses of colonialism and pathology have historically rendered Deaf people invisible. Through signed history interviews and participant-observation with Deaf women in Adelaide, South Australia, I argue that the Deaf community has a strong culture of connectedness and kinship, and that Deaf women have been pivotal to the development and maintenance of a distinct Deaf identity

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Dorcas Mitchell And The Bradleys: The Real Beginnings Of New Zealand Deaf Education

Presenter: 
Steve Hooker (Teacher, historian) – New Zealand

New Zealand’s education system has traditionally been portrayed as oral from its very beginnings, with the Sumner Institution for the Deaf and Dumb near Christchurch established in 1880, following a strictly oral approach. It was not until almost 100 years later that moves were made to adopt signing approaches in deaf education. But it very nearly wasn’t so.

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The Eugenic Attack On American Deaf People: Discourse On Deaf Marriage And Fecundity

Presenters: 

William T. Ennis III PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Gallaudet University, USA

Brian H. Greenwald PhD, Professor of History, Gallaudet University, USA (pictured)

This presentation will explore the impact of eugenics on three Deaf Americans from the late 19th century: John B. Hotchkiss, Amos G. Draper, and George T. Sanders. Specifically we will examine the marriage decisions made by these men and how those decisions were influenced by eugenic philosophies, which at the time were nascent. These three men allow us to analyze eugenics in a different perspective; one that differentiates the harsh eugenics of sterilization with a more subtle type of eugenics. Eugenics was not linear; rather, its malleability and complexity comes from existing ideals that, at times, infiltrated the deaf community with manifestations that would not surface until adulthood.

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Changes in the Finnish Deaf Performance Arts Since the 1950s

Presenter: 
Maija Koivisto, Finland

Finnish Deaf Culture Days have been reflecting changes in the identity of sign language community in the period 1956–2006. Presentation is based in my Master in Education research. The principal material was collected from the mass media of sign language community. The research used Paddy Ladd’s theory of post-colonialism in Deaf culture and Stuart Hall’s concepts of cultural identity.

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Acts Of De(A)Fiance: Theatre Of The Deaf As An Act Of Resistance To Hearing Colonisation

Presenter: 
Genevieve Roberts BA (Hons) UNSW, Co-ordinator Community Capacity Building, The Deaf Society

An investigation of Deaf History within the theoretical framework of Colonialism reveals that deafness has been subject to a distillation of hearing assumptions regarding normalcy and language. Parallels exist between hearing/deaf relations and that of coloniser/colonised. Medical and educational discourses operate as processes of assimilation. Assimilation of one culture into another can never be total, and so language and culture can be sites of resistance. Cultural difference and the untranslatable erupt at the borderline moment of translation. Theatre of the Deaf, by definition, takes place at this borderline moment. It is theatre performed by deaf (and sometimes hearing) actors for a mixed deaf and hearing audience.

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Poster Presentations

Community Cultural Wealth And Deaf Studies Archives: Telling Our Stories

Presenter: 
Dr. Joan Naturale, NTID Librarian, USA

Minority communities such as the Deaf community have “community cultural wealth” (Yosso, 2005) often overlooked by the mainstreamed society. Some of these communities such as the Native Americans, Women, LGBT, African Americans, and other groups wish to preserve its hidden history.

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Historical Bases Of North American Aboriginal Sign Language – How Non-Natives Influenced The Disappearance Of Naasl

Presenters: 
Gregory Desrosiers and Rae-Mariri Nicole Sellers, Canada

This presentation offers data about the historical origins of North American Aboriginal Sign Language (NAASL) that have contributed to the development of American Sign Language (ASL).

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The National Deaf-Mute College Benefactor: Henry Dawes And Native American Hostilities

Presenters: 

William T. Ennis III, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Gallaudet University, USA

Brian H. Greenwald, PhD, Professor of History, Gallaudet University, USA (pictured)

Communities remember the past in varying forms. How does this inform us about our individual and collective memories? Statues, memorials, and building names are among the more common mechanisms to highlight a specific memory or contribution during the time of recognition. Further complicating these memories are statues, memorials, and buildings that glorify the vestiges of colonialism. Over the past decade, universities and colleges in the United States have had to confront symbols of the ugliness of their respective histories. In 2015, Yale University, under pressure from students, renamed one of its academic buildings because its namesake, John C. Calhoun, was a strong proponent of slavery. Yale is not alone.

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Hearing Maud

Presenters: 
Dr Jessica White
, The University of Queensland

This presentation describes the experiences of Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th century expatriate Queensland author Rosa Praed, illuminating how attitudes to d/Deaf education constrained her voice and experiences by requiring her to speak rather than sign. Maud, who was born in 1874, was discovered to be deaf just before her family emigrated from Brisbane to London. When she was six her mother, influenced by prevailing attitudes towards eugenics and her experiences in a country that colonised its Aboriginal people, enrolled Maud in a school run by the Society for Training Teachers of the Deaf and the Diffusion of the ‘German’ System. The school was run by Benjamin St John Ackers, but had been formerly owned by Susannah Hull who worked with Alexander Graham Bell.

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