Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194132
Title:
Seeing Grace: Religious Rhetoric in the Deaf Community
Author:
Morse, Tracy Ann
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The author argues that religion has provided the deaf community with a powerful language to convey their authority in struggles to preserve sign language. Employing religious rhetoric, the American deaf community historically overcame the oppression of a dominant hearing community that suppressed the use of sign language. Grounding his arguments for educating deaf Americans in his Protestant theology, the Reverend Thomas Gallaudet garnered support for the school by appealing to the Christian convictions of the citizens of Hartford - intertwining Protestantism with the emerging American deaf community. By exploring the school, sanctuary, and social activism of the American deaf community, the author provides evidence of deaf community rhetoric that includes religious themes and biblical references. For example, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, arguments for methods of how to teach deaf students divided on ideological grounds. Manualists who supported the use of sign language often grounded their arguments in Protestant theology, while oralists who were influenced by Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species grounded arguments in evolutionary thinking. The influence of biblical teachings was evident in the schools for the deaf. The chapel services perpetuated the use of sign language even in times when sign language was under attack. From these chapel services came a social purpose for the church sanctuary in the lives of deaf Americans in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. The sanctuary also provided the deaf community with a political platform advocating sign language use. The social activism of the deaf community has taken on many forms. In the early twentieth century, the National Association of the Deaf president, George Veditz, used film to capture his fiery Preservation of the Sign Language, which is filled with religious rhetoric advocating the deaf community’s use of sign language. More recently, Deaf West Theatre’ production of Big River is an example of how artful expression is used to support the values of the deaf community. This dissertation concludes with the suggestion that technology has replaced many of the functions of religion in the lives of deaf Americans and the author encourages further research in specific areas.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
deaf community; religious rhetoric; Gallaudet; sign language; religion and deaf; deaf education
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Mountford, Roxanne
Committee Chair:
Mountford, Roxanne

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleSeeing Grace: Religious Rhetoric in the Deaf Communityen_US
dc.creatorMorse, Tracy Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorMorse, Tracy Annen_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe author argues that religion has provided the deaf community with a powerful language to convey their authority in struggles to preserve sign language. Employing religious rhetoric, the American deaf community historically overcame the oppression of a dominant hearing community that suppressed the use of sign language. Grounding his arguments for educating deaf Americans in his Protestant theology, the Reverend Thomas Gallaudet garnered support for the school by appealing to the Christian convictions of the citizens of Hartford - intertwining Protestantism with the emerging American deaf community. By exploring the school, sanctuary, and social activism of the American deaf community, the author provides evidence of deaf community rhetoric that includes religious themes and biblical references. For example, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, arguments for methods of how to teach deaf students divided on ideological grounds. Manualists who supported the use of sign language often grounded their arguments in Protestant theology, while oralists who were influenced by Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species grounded arguments in evolutionary thinking. The influence of biblical teachings was evident in the schools for the deaf. The chapel services perpetuated the use of sign language even in times when sign language was under attack. From these chapel services came a social purpose for the church sanctuary in the lives of deaf Americans in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. The sanctuary also provided the deaf community with a political platform advocating sign language use. The social activism of the deaf community has taken on many forms. In the early twentieth century, the National Association of the Deaf president, George Veditz, used film to capture his fiery Preservation of the Sign Language, which is filled with religious rhetoric advocating the deaf community’s use of sign language. More recently, Deaf West Theatre’ production of Big River is an example of how artful expression is used to support the values of the deaf community. This dissertation concludes with the suggestion that technology has replaced many of the functions of religion in the lives of deaf Americans and the author encourages further research in specific areas.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectdeaf communityen_US
dc.subjectreligious rhetoricen_US
dc.subjectGallaudeten_US
dc.subjectsign languageen_US
dc.subjectreligion and deafen_US
dc.subjectdeaf educationen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of Englishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMountford, Roxanneen_US
dc.contributor.chairMountford, Roxanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBrueggemann, Brenda Joen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHall, Anne-Marieen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1174en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659747451en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.