Deafening Modernism tells the story of modernism from the perspective of Deaf critical insight. Working to develop a critical Deaf theory independent of identity-based discourse, Rebecca Sanchez excavates the intersections between Deaf and modernist studies. She traces the ways that Deaf culture, history, linguistics, and literature provide a vital and largely untapped resource for understanding the history of American language politics and the impact that history has had on modernist aesthetic production.
Discussing Deaf and disability studies in these unexpected contexts highlights the contributions the field can make to broader discussions of the intersections between images, bodies, and text. Drawing on a range of methodological approaches, including literary analysis and history, linguistics, ethics, and queer, cultural, and film studies, Sanchez sheds new light on texts by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Charlie Chaplin, and many others. By approaching modernism through the perspective of Deaf and disability studies, Deafening Modernism reconceptualizes deafness as a critical modality enabling us to freshly engage topics we thought we knew.