Tag Archives: Deafness

“Moonlight” and silence

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Woman at the Piano. 1875/76. Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Art Institute of Chicago. At seventeen, I knew little about the limitations or losses that might cause a person to second-guess a vocation, deeply held belief, or identity. Perhaps those questions about the unknowable future inhabit the soul of […]

Smetana, his music, his illness

Bedřich (Frederic) Smetana was one of the major figures of nineteenth century European music. Regarded as the founder of the Czech national school of music, he composed The Bartered Bride opera and the symphonic poem “Má Vlast” (My Homeland) with its beloved Vlatava (The Moldau) melody. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, he composed exceptional music even […]

Sign Gene: the first deaf superhero film

Paul Dakin North London, United Kingdom   Sign Gene, the world’s first deaf superhero film. Written and directed by Emilio Insolera. Image published with permission. If the superhero genre really is “about transformation, about identity, about difference,”1 then the description can readily be applied to Sign Gene, the world’s first deaf superhero film. Written and […]

Medical deafness or the madness of war: Goya’s motivation for creating the Black Paintings

Sarah Bahr Indianapolis, Indiana, USA   Figure 1. Goya, Francisco. Saturn Devouring His Son. 1820-1823. Prado National Museum. The Spanish painter Francisco Goya darkened the plaster walls of his rural Madrid farmhouse with leering witches, a gaggle of grimacing hags, and a man with bulging eyes devouring a human form. The latter painting, posthumously titled […]

On being disabled

Yeji Lee Toronto, Canada   Richard Whitehead (Centre) crosses the finish line in the London 2012 Paralympic Games on September 1, 2012. AFP photo / Adrian Dennis In the past the disabled have often been isolated from the rest of society by structural, physical, and emotional means, considered irrelevant or even detrimental to the development and […]

“Super” heroes: Special powers in deaf characters

Paul Dakin London, United Kingdom Echo (Marvel Comics) In 2012 Marvel Comics produced a cover featuring New Hampshire Senator Lou D’Allesandro’s four-year-old grandson Anthony as Blue Ear, a superhero wearing a hearing aid. Anthony refused the prosthetic because superheroes did not wear them. His mother contacted the company hoping to find an inspirational example and […]

New life

Hannah Joyner Takoma Park, Maryland, USA    Photography by dierk schaefer At first I thought I had a sinus infection, expecting to come home with a course of antibiotics. The doctor initially agreed, but when he heard my account of facial numbness spreading around my left eye, he referred me immediately to a neurologist, who […]