Deaf in the USSR
Marginality, Community, and Soviet Identity, 1917-1991
"Engagingly written and impeccably researched, this history of the deaf community in the USSR is a welcome addition to the history of the Soviet Union, to the history of welfare, and to disability studies."—Diane P. Koenker, author of Club Red
" Deaf in the USSR offers a fresh critical lens to examine concepts of citizenship, Soviet identity, political organization, and social status through the contested meanings of deaf and the lived experiences of deaf people. A splendid addition to deaf studies and Soviet studies."—Susan Burch, author of Signs of Resistance
In Deaf in the USSR, Claire L. Shaw asks what it meant to be deaf in a culture that was founded on a radically utopian, socialist view of human perfectibility. Shaw reveals how fundamental contradictions inherent in the Soviet revolutionary project were negotiated—both individually and collectively— by a vibrant and independent community of deaf people who engaged in complex ways with Soviet ideology.
Deaf in the USSR engages with a wide range of sources from both deaf and hearing perspectives—archival sources, films and literature, personal memoirs, and journalism—to build a multilayered history of deafness. This book will appeal to scholars of Soviet history and disability studies as well as those in the international deaf community who are interested in their collective heritage. Deaf in the USSR will also enjoy a broad readership among those who are interested in deafness and disability as a key to more inclusive understandings of being human and of language, society, politics, and power.