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THEORIZING A DEAF CINEMA

A Lecture by Jane Norman

Jane Norman received her Ph.D. from Howard University. She was a founding member of the National Theater of the Deaf. In the early seventies, she was instrumental in establishing News Sign 4, a news program produced in sign language for San Francisco's NBC affiliate.

There is cinema about deafness and there is Deaf cinema. The two are worlds apart, one a mainstream cinema in need of character types as grist for its mercantile mill, the other an outsider cinema serving to nurture and develop a marginalized culture's self-image. Jane Norman, Professor of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, will explore the notion of a Deaf cinema, a nascent movement now gaining a body of mediamakers. To consider this movement, Norman will look to the precedents that have arisen from other minority communities, such as African American, Latin American, and disability cinemas. Are there aesthetic issues specific to this emerging Deaf cinema? Does Deaf cinema demand “deaf” content? If anyone, who should define this burgeoning movement? Is there a manifesto in the making? Norman's talk will speculate on a cinema that will be a sign of the times.

Please note: In ASL with simultaneous spoken translation through wireless headphones.

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