Deafness Cures in History
by Jaipreet Virdi
Pub Date 01 May 2020
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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: hearing trumpets, violet-ray apparatuses, pneumomassages, 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 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.
A Note From the Publisher
Jaipreet Virdi is an assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware. This is her first book.
“Poetically weaving her own experiences as a deaf person into a history of hearing loss, Virdi makes a compelling argument that deafness is as much a cultural construct as it is a physical phenomenon. Rigorously researched and eminently readable, Hearing Happiness is packed with historical gems that will fascinate any reader.”
Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art
“Everyone needs to read this fascinating history of hearing loss, technology, medicine, and audism. In examining deafness cures and sharing her own personal story, Virdi reveals society’s ever-evolving processes in creating and enforcing normalcy.”
Alice Wong, founder and director of Disability Visibility
“Told with clarity and compassion, Virdi’s moving story will resonate with any reader seeking to understand what it truly is like to be deaf in the U.S.”
Cäsar Jacobson, activist, author, and actor
- Five-city tour planned for spring-summer 2020: Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, NYC, Toronto (dates TBA)
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