Book ID: CBB945172024

Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History (2020)


Virdi-Dhesi, Jaipreet (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 328
Language: English

At the age of four, Jaipreet Virdi’s world went silent. A severe case of meningitis left her alive but deaf, suddenly treated differently by everyone. Her deafness downplayed by society and doctors, she struggled to “pass” as hearing for most of her life. Countless cures, treatments, and technologies led to dead ends. Never quite deaf enough for the Deaf community or quite hearing enough for the “normal” majority, Virdi was stuck in aural limbo for years. It wasn’t until her thirties, exasperated by problems with new digital hearing aids, that she began to actively assert her deafness and reexamine society’s—and her own—perception of life as a deaf person in America.   Through lyrical history and personal memoir, Hearing Happiness raises pivotal questions about deafness in American society and the endless quest for a cure. Taking us from the 1860s up to the present, Virdi combs archives and museums in order to understand the long history of curious cures: ear trumpets, violet ray apparatuses, vibrating massagers, electrotherapy machines, airplane diving, bloodletting, skull hammering, and many more. Hundreds of procedures and products have promised grand miracles but always failed to deliver a universal cure—a harmful legacy that is still present in contemporary biomedicine. Weaving Virdi’s own experiences together with her exploration into the fascinating history of deafness cures, Hearing Happiness is a powerful story that America needs to hear.

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Authors & Contributors
Blume, Stuart S.
McGuire, Coreen
Barbieri, Patrizio
Upshur, R. E. G.
McKeever, P.
Gibson, B. E.
Science, Technology and Human Values
Studi Musicali
Ethics, Place and Environment
Social Studies of Science
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
British Journal for the History of Science
Rutgers University Press
Beacon Press
Harvard University
Emory University
Manchester University Press
Palgrave Pivot
Auditory perception
Disabilities; disability; accessibility
Disability technology
Medical technology
Hearing aids
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Kerridge, Phyllis M. Tookey
Bell, Alexander Graham
Great Britain
United States
Southern states (U.S.)
Prague (Czechia)
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
18th century
16th century
American Telephone and Telegraph Company
National Health Service (Great Britain)

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