NDLS 289 Special Topics- Deaf and Global South: Introduction & Assignment


Introduction & Assignment

This course explores the lives of deaf people in the global South. The global South excludes the United States and Europe and includes regions that have experienced colonization and/or have less access to resources and power. Regions include South America, Asia, Africa, and India.

The course will consider how deaf people's experiences in the global South have been shaped by local and international contexts. The course will examine issues of power and social justice, delving into histories of racism, capitalism, colonialism, gender, citizenship, sexuality, accessibility, mobility, and human rights. Students will also learn to analyze media, policy, activist and non-profit campaigns focused on deaf people in the global south.

Your assignment requires you to use gray literature (primary sources) such as websites, blogs, social media accounts, autobiographies (one chapter), images, plays, manuscripts, conference papers, presentations, newsletters, posters, artwork, reports, archival materials, YouTube videos, etc. Most of these resources can be found on the internet or in the library's Deaf collections and start with the InfoGuides. 

Your professor requires gray literature because traditional publishing (articles, books, and documentaries etc.) requires access to financial and institutional resources. Therefore, traditional published work often does not capture the perspectives of marginalized populations such as deaf people from the global south. An important alternative source of information is “gray literature” (or primary sources).

Gray literature is:

  • Non-traditionally published (i.e. not journal articles, books, academic literature)
  • May come from non-traditional sources (i.e. blogs, youtube videos, websites, social media)
  • Are often more accessible for individuals with less economic resources/ lower literacy levels to produce
  • Captures current slices of life/perspectives

Be sure to evaluate your source to determine its credibility. Who is the author? Why is the author credible (is the author experienced or an expert in the topic you are researching? Example: activism). What is the expertise of the author? Can you determine the reputation of the author or website?  What is the viewpoint being expressed? Are there other viewpoints? Can you find other work that expresses similar or different viewpoints? Are multiple sources saying the same thing or not? Why? Why not? 

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