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History Book Festival Presents Katie Booth | The Invention of Miracles

History Book Festival Presents Katie Booth | The Invention of Miracles


In collaboration with the History Book Festival, join us for a talk with Katie Booth, author of The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness, an offering of the 2021 virtual History Book Festival. Feta Fernsler, president of the Delaware Association of the Deaf, will be in conversation with Katie Booth during the event.

Many think of Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but as the son of a deaf woman (and, later, husband to another), his goal in life from adolescence was to teach deaf students to speak. He became a leading advocate for the oralist movement, which valued teaching deaf students how to speak English verbally and shunned the use of American Sign Language — in spite of growing evidence that this led to the detriment of all other learning, causing not only stalled development, but also social isolation. The author describes the harm that many people, including her grandparents, experienced as a result of Bell’s movement to stamp out ASL and explains how the deaf community reclaimed their once-forbidden language.

Katie Booth, who was raised in a mixed hearing/deaf family, teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She spent more than 15 years researching this book, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. Feta Fernsler works as a job coach for the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services; serves as a mentor for families with newborns identified as deaf or hard of hearing; and manages the Delaware Relay telecommunications system.

We invite you to support the author by purchasing copy of their book from Browseabout Books. Call-in orders are accepted at (302) 226-2665 or you can stop by the store to purchase a copy. For store hours, please visit their website. Each copy purchased comes with a signed bookplate.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email the History Book Festival.

Basic written instructions for using Zoom may be found here and a brief video tutorial may be found here. Closed captioning and ASL interpreters are available for this session. Information on enabling closed captioning in Zoom may be found here.

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
5:00pm - 6:00pm Eastern Time
Lewes Public Library
  Adults     Older Adults  
  Book Discussions  
Registration has closed.