TAL #TBT: What’s an Avid Listener?

This week we’re taking it all the way back to our very first post, Andrew’s exploration of Avid Listening. Remember this?

“Our bodies hunger for sound. Listening is so important to our self-definition that American Deaf culture has developed the concept LISTEN-EYES to describe the process of receiving and interpreting through sight information that would otherwise be acquired through sound. The rhythm of a song and its flow of emotional intensity, for example, can be conveyed both by musicians and by trained interpreters through a wide variety of physical gestures and facial/bodily expressions, allowing Deaf audiences to view and join in the physical manifestation and understanding of music. This kind of listening is a point of cultural pride among those who might be thought of as “unable” to enjoy sound—those, in other words, who have been disabled by mainstream assumptions about what “normal” listening might look (!) like.”

In retrospect, Andrew’s post set the tone for one two of our major TAL themes: the many ways of listening, and music and disability studies. Want to refresh your memory? Here’s our latest digest, which includes links for all of the essays we’ve published to date. Since our site’s search function is still less than optimal (blerg), this digest is also a helpful tool for educators in the midst of creating fall syllabi who want to incorporate TAL essays.) We hope to start bringing you new essays in late August, and we’ll have educational materials for both college and high school level available soon.

The Avid Listener. Listen. Write. Discuss. Repeat.

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