Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature

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University of California Press, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
"This is a startlingly original collection, challenging readers to think well beyond normative contours of the literary text toward a living art of the embodied sign. A significant contribution to literary, performance, and Deaf culture studies, Signing the Body Poetic will make us all see differently."--Della Pollock, editor of Remembering: Oral History Performance

"Signing the Body Poetic is both a book and an event--a long-anticipated work that questions and recasts some of our most embedded definitions of poetry and other language arts. The work of several generations of signing poets has made a place for gesture that eliminates once and for all the hegemony of the spoken word as the single determinant of poetry and language performance. That is the accomplishment analyzed and celebrated in these pages and in the accompanying DVD that clearly shows the work at hand."--Jerome Rothenberg, coeditor of Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern and Postmodern Poetry

"Signing the Body Poetic is the first major scholarly work to celebrate and theorize American Sign Language artistic expression, ranging from poetry to theater and film. A must for anyone interested in contemporary poetry, drama, or literary theory."--Lennard J. Davis, editor of The Disability Studies Reader

"Signing the Body Poetic brings new and productive dimensions to the phrase 'body of literature.' This impressive collection details the aesthetics, the epistemological importance, and the cultural life of American Sign Language literature in clear, accessible prose. Close analyses of key texts in/as performances are enhanced by the accompanying DVD, itself an invaluable resource. This collection will be useful for scholars and general readers interested in the complexities of literary production and reception."--Judith Hamera, author of Opening Acts and editor of The Sage Handbook of Performance Studies

"This collection is as unique as ASL, merging linguistics, nonverbal communication, and performance both in the content of the chapters and in its form (text and DVD). Unlocking the performative dimension of ASL, it merges disciplines, communicative forms, and channels while demonstrating that our ability to communicate is not limited by the organs we use to do so but only by our ability to perform."--Michael L. Hecht, coeditor of Redefining Culture: Perspectives across the Disciplines



1 Introduction
Part One Framing ASL Literature
Part Two The Embodied Text Writing and Vision in ASL Literature
Part Three The Political Text Performance and Identity in ASL Literature
Appendix A Time Line of ASL Literature Development
Appendix B ASL Video References

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