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Weekend Recs: Deaf Culture

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

Did you know that Deaf people have their own culture? Although often labeled as a disability by hearing society at large, Deaf people are fighting back against this notion. Instead, they contend that their supposed “disability” is actually the foundation of a rich culture here in the U.S. and elsewhere. In celebration of International Week of Deaf People, this weekend’s recs will highlight some key aspects of Deaf culture.

If you have 1 minute…and are unsure about the correct terminology, watch this TikTok. It explains why “Deaf” is the preferred label, and why “hearing impaired” can be viewed as offensive or outdated.

If you have 3 minutes…and want to check out some music made by a Deaf artist, listen to “Hanaa!,” or any song by Signmark. He is a Deaf rapper from Finland who often signs while he raps.

If you have 5 minutes…and are wondering how Deaf culture differs from hearing culture, read this article that explains some of the differences.

If you have 7 minutes…and were wondering why the “D” in Deaf is often capitalized, read this article about how people identify themselves as a part of the Deaf community. Spoiler: deaf and Deaf do not mean the same thing, and not all deaf people identify as Deaf.

If you have 10 minutes…and have some questions about deafness and Deaf culture, browse this Deaf culture FAQ page. It might save you from a potentially awkward or embarrassing interaction or from bothering a deaf person with frequently asked questions.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn more about the fight for a Deaf president at the only Deaf-centric university in the world, watch this TED Talk with Irisa MacAulay. Warning: although Irisa, the presenter, gives an absolutely amazing talk, the camera often switches angles, making it difficult to understand her ASL without using subtitles or listening to the interpreter.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and like (corny) old horror movies, watch Deafula. The film features ASL as the primary language with an English dub for hearing people and is available through inter-library loan.

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and want to watch a more recent movie that showcases Deaf culture, watch CODA. This award-winning film specifically focuses on the story of a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult) who discovers her passion for music.

If you have 12 or more hours…and want a deep-dive into Deaf history, read Gannon’s Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America. The book moves through Deaf history in America by decade and even features an entire chapter dedicated to Deaf humor.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Last Modified: September 23, 2022