Faculty Bookshelf: Brenda Jo Brueggemann

Books by Brenda Jo Brueggemann

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Arts and Humanities, Volume 8 (Sage Publications, 2012). With Elizabeth Brewer, Nicholas Hetrick, and Melanie Yergeau.

This volume in The SAGE Reference Series on Disability explores the arts and humanities within the lives of people with disabilities. It is one of eight volumes in the cross-disciplinary and issues-based series, which incorporates links from varied fields making up Disability Studies as volumes examine topics central to the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. With a balance of history, theory, research, and application, specialists set out the findings and implications of research and practice for others whose current or future work involves the care and/or study of those with disabilities, as well as for the disabled themselves. The presentational style (concise and engaging) emphasizes accessibility. Taken individually, each volume sets out the fundamentals of the topic it addresses, accompanied by compiled data and statistics, recommended further readings, a guide to organizations and associations, and other annotated resources, thus providing the ideal introductory platform and gateway for further study. Taken together, the series represents both a survey of major disability issues and a guide to new directions and trends and contemporary resources in the field as a whole.

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Deaf Subjects: Between Identities and Places (New York University Press, 2009)

In this probing exploration of what it means to be deaf, Brenda Brueggemann goes beyond any simple notion of identity politics to explore the very nature of identity itself. Looking at a variety of cultural texts, she brings her fascination with borders and between-places to expose and enrich our understanding of how deafness embodies itself in the world, in the visual, and in language.

Taking on the creation of the modern deaf subject, Brueggemann ranges from the intersections of gender and deafness in the work of photographers Mary and Frances Allen at the turn of the last century, to the state of the field of Deaf Studies at the beginning of our new century. She explores the power and potential of American Sign Language—wedged, as she sees it, between letter-bound language and visual ways of learning—and argues for a rhetorical approach and digital future for ASL literature.

The narration of deaf lives through writing becomes a pivot around which to imagine how digital media and documentary can be used to convey deaf life stories. Finally, she expands our notion of diversity within the deaf identity itself, takes on the complex relationship between deaf and hearing people, and offers compelling illustrations of the intertwined, and sometimes knotted, nature of individual and collective identities within Deaf culture.

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Disability and/in Prose (Routledge, 2008)

Through a series of critical essays this book concerns itself with the relationships and possibilities in and between “prose” and “disability”. The critical and/or personal essays in this book all try to explore this potent inbetween space – a place full of possibilities. These prose pieces reflect on prose themselves as they stretch in an uneven yet interesting line from Hay’s ‘modern’ essay on deformity through nineteenth century literary and cultural sensibilities about working bodies, wars and “normalcy” and also through contemporary considerations over the role of metaphor as it marks the disabled body in critical-creative “personal” essays that pose even as they prose the considerable possibilities for disability as represented in and through prose.

Disability and the Teaching of Writing: A Critical Sourcebook (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2008).  Editor, with Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson.

Disability and the Teaching of Writing brings together both ground-breaking new work and important foundational texts at the intersection of disability and composition studies. With practical suggestions for applying concepts to the classroom, this sourcebook helps instructors understand the issues involved in not only teaching students with disabilities but in teaching with and about disability as well.

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Rhetorical Visions: Reading and Writing in a Visual Culture (Prentice Hall, 2007).  Editor, with Wendy Hesford.

This thematic, visual reader uses rhetoric as the frame for investigating the verbal and visual texts of our culture. Rhetorical Visions is designed to help tap into the considerable rhetorical awareness that students already possess, in order to to help them put their insights into words in well-crafted academic papers and projects. In order to exercise their analytical reading and writing skills, Rhetorical Visions provides occasions for students to explore and apply key rhetorical concepts such as narrative, description, interpretation, genre, context, rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, pathos), and memory to the analysis of print and non-print texts.

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Women and Deafness: Double Visions. (Gallaudet University Press, 2006).  Editor, with Susan Burch.

Women and Deafness: Double Visions is an anthology of essays by learned authors discussing deafness and deaf identity in the context of women’s studies, and vice versa. Pieces contemplate why Helen Keller, perhaps the most famous deaf woman of all, is remembered primarily as a champion specifically of the blind; the issue of mothers raising their children according to oralist dictates “like ordinary hearing children”; the significance and impact of the Deaf American Beauty Pageant, and much more. A welcome and much-needed contribution addressing serious gaps in both women’s studies and deaf studies reference shelves.

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Literacy and Deaf People: Cultural and Contextual Perspectives (Gallaudet University Press, 2004).  Editor and contributor.

This compelling collection advocates for an alternative view of deaf people’s literacy, one that emphasizes recent shifts in Deaf cultural identity rather than a student’s past educational context as determined by the dominant hearing society. Divided into two parts, the book opens with four chapters by leading scholars Tom Humphries, Claire Ramsey, Susan Burch, and volume editor Brenda Jo Brueggemann. These scholars use diverse disciplines to reveal how schools where deaf children are taught are the product of ideologies about teaching, about how deaf children learn, and about the relationship of ASL and English.

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Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities (MLA Press, 2002).  Editor and contributor, with Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Sharon Snyder.

Images of disability pervade language and literature, yet disability is, as sex was in the Victorian world, the ubiquitous unspoken topic in today’s culture. The twenty-five essays in Disability Studies provide perspectives on disabled people and on disability in the humanities, art, the media, medicine, psychology, the academy, and society. Edited and introduced by Sharon L. Snyder, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and containing an afterword by Michael Bérubé (author of Life As We Know It), the volume is rich

-in its cast of characters (including Oliver Sacks, Dr. Kevorkian, Samuel Johnson, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Nero Wolfe)
-in its powerful, authentic accounts of disabled conditions (deafness, blindness, MS, cancer, the absence of limbs)
-in its different settings (ancient Greece, medieval Spain, Nazi Germany, modern America)
-and in its mix of the intellectual and the emotional, of subtle theory and plainspoken autobiography.

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Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness (Gallaudet University Press, 1999)

The tradition of rhetoric established 2,500 years ago emphasizes the imperative of speech as a defining characteristic of reason. But in her new book Lend Me Your Ear , Brenda Jo Brueggemann exposes this tradition’s effect of disallowing deaf people human identity because of their natural silence.

Brueggemann’s assault upon this long-standing rhetorical conceit is both erudite and personal; she writes both as a scholar and as a hard-of-hearing woman. In this broadly based study, she presents a profound analysis and understanding of this rhetorical tradition’s descendent disciplines (e.g., audiology, speech/language pathology) that continue to limit deaf people. Next to this even-handed scholarship, she juxtaposes a volatile emotional counterpoint achieved through interviews with Deaf individuals who have faced rhetorically constructed restrictions, and interludes of her own poetry and memoirs.