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Looking to listen: individual 'turns' in deaf space and the worlds they conjure

Robinson, Kelly Elizabeth Fagan; (2018) Looking to listen: individual 'turns' in deaf space and the worlds they conjure. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Every deaf person, whether they sign or do not, considers, works through, embodies, and performs the different elements of her deafness via the vessel of her own deaf body. Therefore, deaf perspectives on ‘reality’ are necessarily dominated by the visual-tactile ways that each deaf person uniquely connects with her interior self, with others, and with her surroundings. Because each deaf person’s experience of her own body is unambiguously hers alone, so too are the ways she uniquely calibrates the physical degrees of her specific deaf condition with her particular socio-cultural understandings of her own life and those of other people; and finally will determine how (and to what extent) she cultivates her ever-evolving habits of visual-tactility. I argue that she performs this calibration continuously, and that her performances of this process give rise to externalised material shapes – both literal and figurative – via the ways these adjustments are made witnessable via her flesh. Given this, ‘DEAF space’ (Gulliver 2009), the physical space delineated by deaf-specific modes of visual-tactile authority, can be shown to be created not only by groups of deaf people, but by each individual deaf person as she conducts this work of authoring her own being. As such, this thesis examines the outward and witnessable shapes exerted by performances of each deaf interlocutor’s view on her own DEAF way of being onto her surroundings. In so doing, I mobilise some of these external evidences to make a crucial claim about DEAF ontology: completely reversing the position that deafness is a reductive condition of an otherwise hearing body, DEAFness is reframed to be a productive condition of being, a creative and essential quality inherent to all deaf people.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Looking to listen: individual 'turns' in deaf space and the worlds they conjure
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042761
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