Next semester, the novelist Sara Nović will be teaching a class on language rights. Today Literary Hub is running a piece, “Who Can Speak for the Deaf Community?,” that may give students—and faculty—some insight into the issues her class might cover. She writes,
Questions of representation and cultural appropriation are hot button issues in the literary world at the moment. For me, the quality of the representation is the sole determinant. I don’t think an absolute, catch-all stance about whether or not a hearing person can speak on behalf of the Deaf community is particularly useful—sign language interpreters are an integral part of the way Deaf people interact with the hearing world, and their work is certainly in line with a discussion about translation. Then again, if the chosen spokesperson proves herself to be a less-than-effective ally, I’d rather speak for myself.
Now, go read!