ASL Spring Event: Octavian Robinson

Mar 24, 2016 at - | Cohen G-17

The ASL Program and the Department of Linguistics are happy to announce the ASL Lecture Series event for Spring 2016:

Dr. Octavian Robinson, Deaf Studies faculty at the College of the Holy Cross will present "Ableist Rhetoric at the Turn of the 20th Century" on Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 5-6:30 PM in Claudia Cohen Hall, Room G-17.

A map of the location can be found HERE <http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/maps/locations/cohen-hall-claudia>.

This event is free and open to the public and will be presented in ASL.  Voice interpretation will be provided for non-signing audience members.  Please feel free to share this announcement with anyone who might be interested.

Light refreshments will be served following the talk and a social hour will continue until 7:30 PM.

The abstract for the talk can be found below.

For questions, please contact Jami Fisher, ASL Program Coordinator, Department of Linguistics: jami@sas.upenn.edu

This talk is co-sponsored by the Disability Studies Group in the Department of English. 

The talk explores rhetoric and how the Deaf community in the United States has long employed ableist rhetoric as part of their strategy for passing as normal able-bodied citizens. Ableist rhetoric subscribes to an hierarchy of ability-disability, celebrates invisibility of disability, and celebrates those closest to the "norm"- that is- able-bodiedness while disparaging disability. This rhetoric marginalized members within the Deaf community who were DeafBlind or DeafDisabled. This late nineteenth century rhetoric of white male middle-class leaders in the American Deaf community subsequently led to intracommunity marginalization of DeafBlind and DeafDisabled people. Deaf people's ableist rhetoric also established roots for the twentieth-century schisms between deaf and disabled activists, deaf and disability studies.

Octavian Robinson holds a Ph.D. in history from The Ohio State University with an emphasis on women's history, modern U.S. history, and African American history. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Studies with a concentration in Deaf History from Gallaudet University. Robinson specializes in the history of the American Deaf Community.