Monday, May 24, 2021

"Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell" (in ASL, English and English closed captions)

Description: American Sign Language interpretation of Unsound, a radio documentary from IDEAS exploring the legacy of Alexander Graham Bell and his role in a movement called oralism, and the harmful legacy that still reverberates today.

The great project of Alexander Graham Bell's life was not, perhaps surprisingly, the telephone.

His life's true passion, and the project he focused on his entire life and funded with his earnings from the telephone, was the 'education' of deaf people. He was part of a movement called oralism and believed all deaf people should learn to lipread and speak rather than use sign language.

But not all deaf people can learn to speak. Or believe they should. And the harm of oralism still reverberates today.

This is a great interpretation from a Deaf perspective. Watch in full screen and hit the CC button for captions.

Radio show source:

Video source:

For English transcript:

Friday, May 7, 2021

Representations of Deaf People in Japan: Inspiration, Outrage and Real Life

Abstract: This presentation examines representations of deaf people in Japan as related to so-called "inspiration porn" -- the idealization of disabled people doing everyday tasks (e.g. riding a train, having a job) or for achievements having nothing to do with their particular disability (e.g. deaf athletes). Cross-cultural examples, academic models, observations and perspectives will be discussed to explore how disabled and deaf people are portrayed in various media. Japanese deaf people are often critical of the representations of deaf protagonists and characters in popular television dramas and movies. Such representations create strong but inaccurate images of deafness and sign language that ultimately serve to perpetuate deficit models of disability. On the other hand, representations of disabled/deaf people themselves challenge and add to a social welfare discourse, leading to (re)evaluations of societal norms and attitudes towards disability.

In English, with real-time captioning (CART)

Friday, May 14, 2021, 10:00 AM (Japan time)

Register here:

Inquiries (e-mail):

Asian Ethnology Podcast 2021. Interview with Steven Fedorowicz: Deaf Communities in Japan. Nanzan University. By Mark Bookman.