My failure in relation to John was not only a hearing person's failure to communicate with a deaf person. It was more than an Audist missing an opportunity to share with Deaf culture. Instead, I was encountering a moment which is not simply about hearing loss nor disability, but instead is about a profound inability to communicate. Working with disability and Deaf culture in particular, theorist Lennard J. Davis called this linguistic gap the deafened moment. Davis, as a literary critic, sees his project as more than tracing the literary representation of deafness and instead sees his theory informing western modes of representation. Davis sees the deafened moment as a "critical modality." Davis is "speaking (writing) of the deafened moment as a contextual position, a dialectual moment in the reading/critical process that is defined by the acknowledgment on the part of the reader/writer/critic that he or she is engaged in an activity that does not involve speaking or hearing" (Davis, 882-3). And so I write of my interaction with John and many of his deaf peers as a representation of the deafened moment. But as an individual working with John, I had the opportunity (and the responsibility) to come to some communication. The institution of the University never did come to this understanding.

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deaf:audist | hearing pedagogy | enfi | techno-teaching
city on the hill | "othered" outside
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