DST 251 : Deaf Literature and ASL Folklore

This course surveys the signed and written works of Deaf authors, storytellers, and artists; this course includes both written works (originals and English translations) and American Sign Language works that have been preserved on film or video--often these works defy standard genre classification. Students study and analyze fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, memoirs, anecdotes, and tales. Special attention is given to the tradition of storytelling and storytellers in ASL, folklore (which includes original ASL works such as improvisations), success stories, poetry, handshape poetry, ASL films, humor/jokes, and drum songs. Students broaden their understanding of 'literature' through examination of the Deaf cultures' oral tradition, which transmitted, developed and expanded the literature at residential schools, Deaf Clubs,"literary nights" and festivals. All works are considered in a cultural, historical, and political context to develop an understanding of Deaf people as an American co-culture. Competency met: Humanities (6.0) Spring

Prerequisites

DST 110 with a C or better.
  1. Compare and contrast orature and traditional literature.
  2. Site and categorize examples of ASL literature and folklore.
  3. Discuss the significance of residential schools, Deaf clubs, literary nights and festivals, and new technology to the propagation of ASL folklore and ASL Lit.
  4. Name and recognize celebrated poets, storytellers and artists, and their works.
  5. Identify and discuss Deaf themes and other common elements found in Deaf literature and ASL folklore.
  6. Survey a variety of Deaf Art, poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction-- ASL and written works done by Deaf authors/poets/artists.
  7. Defend Deaf Literature as a viable minority American Literature.
  8. Contrast Deaf Literature with Deaf writing and deaf image in mainstream literature, challenging the latter as stereotype.