Language Manuals & Manual Languages in Premodern Archives
Thursday, October 18, 2018 · 4 PM - 5:30 PM
MEMS Colloquium Lecture
Jonathan Hsy, Associate Professor of English, George Washington University
Building on research on manual-kinetic communication in medieval and early modern Europe, this presentation suggests possibilities for a prehistory of Deaf culture prior to the development of fully expressive sign languages. How did premodern people express the value of deafness as a physical condition and cultural practice? In what way can lived experience of deafness in the historical past reshape contemporary (often politicized) understandings of cultural, linguistic, or ethnic identity?
An American Sign Language Interpreter will be present.
A reception will follow the program.
Bio: Jonathan Hsy is Associate Professor of English at George Washington University and founding co-director of the GW Digital Humanities Institute. His interests integrate medieval literature, media studies, disability history, and critical theory. Author of Trading Tongues: Merchants, Multilingualism, and Medieval Literature (2013), he is the co-editor of the medieval volume of Bloomsbury’s Cultural History of Disability and co-director of the Global Chaucers project. Hsy’s articles on digital humanities and disability have appeared in PMLA, postmedieval, New Medieval Literatures, Accessus, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, and Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature. His current book project, tentatively titled, The Unfamiliar Body: Disability, Autobiography, and Historical Difference, explores life writing by medieval authors who self-identified as blind or deaf.
Sponsored by the Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) Program; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the English Department; the Visual Arts Department; the Ancient Studies Department; and Student Disability Services
Please note: UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. If you would like to request accommodations (e.g., ASL interpreters, captioning, wheelchair access, etc.) for this event due to a disability, please notify us at least two weeks prior to the event. Requests received after that time cannot be guaranteed, but we will do our best to make arrangements for program access. Please contact the Drescher Center via the website linked below with your specific request for this event.