September 23rd, 2021 - 5:00 pm
Katie Booth discussing her book "The Invention of Miracles:
Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness"
Please join us Thursday, September 23, at 5 p.m. Eastern for the 2021 History Book Festival’s live, online event with Katie Booth discussing her book The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness (Simon & Schuster, 2021). Booth will be in conversation with Feta Fernsler.
This presentation is co-sponsored by the Delaware Association of the Deaf, Deaf Outreach, Inc., and Epworth United Methodist Church.
With the support of our presenting sponsors—Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices I Gallo Realty—we are delighted to offer our 2021 events free of charge. However, registration is required.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Many think of Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but as the son of a deaf woman (and, later, husband to another), his goal in life from adolescence was to teach deaf students to speak. He became a leading advocate for the oralist movement, which valued teaching deaf students how to speak English verbally and shunned the use of American Sign Language — in spite of growing evidence that this led to the detriment of all other learning, causing not only stalled development, but also social isolation. The author describes the harm that many people, including her grandparents, experienced as a result of Bell’s movement to stamp out ASL and explains how the deaf community reclaimed their once-forbidden language.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katie Booth, who was raised in a mixed hearing/deaf family, teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She spent more than 15 years researching this book, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America.
Feta Fernsler, president of the Delaware Association of the Deaf, will be in conversation with Katie Booth during the event. He works as a job coach for the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services; serves as a mentor for families with newborns identified as deaf or hard of hearing; and manages the Delaware Relay telecommunications system.
Copies of The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness are available from Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, official bookseller of the History Book Festival, and biblion in Lewes. Each copy comes with a signed archival bookplate.