Deaftopia: utopian representations and community dreams by sign language peoples

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Deaftopia conceptualizes dreams and projections for the future, as well as fears flourishing from Deaf imaginary and experience in the search of Deafhood. The concept brings forth a new perspective on Sign Language People’s cultural productions in a synergy of Culture Studies, Deaf Studies, and Utopian Studies. The valuable methodological contribution from Culture Studies allows an innovative theoretical perspective in the critical analysis of Sign Language People’s cultural productions and their critique towards centuries of oppression. The analysis of utopian and dystopian manifestations of Sign Language Peoples result from a careful selection of narratives and discourses found in literature and visuature (sign language literature), such as novels and stories, poems and speeches, and non-literary texts as letters, and political manifestos by Deaf people. The discourses stem from diverse sources, from the existence of Deaf clusters, to Deaf artwork as films, to Deaf-led activist demonstrations, and even the associative and political efforts for sign language recognition. A complex stance of Deaftopia encompasses both a utopian future (which the Deaf dream is about) as well as the dystopian forewarnings from the threats that incite to the creation of counter narratives and discourses of resistance. This doctoral thesis analyzed the narratives and discourses of Sign Language Peoples and theorized Deaftopia, as a scientific concept and an expression of Deaf Culture. This research work brings forth knowledge that contributes to the preservation of Deaf Culture and contributes to a better understanding of the role of Deaftopia for Sign Language Peoples.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021
Event21st Utopian Studies Society Conference: Utopian Possibilities: Knowledge, Happiness, and Wellbeing - , Portugal
Duration: 10 Dec 202112 Dec 2021


Conference21st Utopian Studies Society Conference


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