Passing as Hearing: Stories of Diagnosis, Disability, and Erasure

Kate Parker Horigan (Independent Folklorist)

This presentation builds on the intersection of folklore and disability studies by investigating narratives of late diagnoses of hearing loss. The narratives imply that “passing” as a fully hearing person is desirable, thereby reinforcing stigma, despite the resources to which early diagnoses can enable access. This study, based in the author’s experience of parenting a child with hearing loss, takes up calls by Phyllis May-Machunda to “illuminate the structures and traditions upholding ableism” (2021: 330) and by Amy Shuman to disturb the “naturalized categories” of the normal and the strange (2011: 169).

Part of 06-01 Narrative Knows No Boundaries: Papers Inspired by the Work of Amy Shuman, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm