Abbé Sicard's Deaf Education

Empowering the Mute, 1785-1820

Authors: Kennedy, Emmet

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About this book

Abbé Sicard was a French revolutionary priest and an innovator of French and American sign language. He enjoyed a meteoric rise from Toulouse and Bordeaux to Paris and, despite his non-conformist tendencies, he escaped the guillotine. In fact, the revolutionaries acknowledged his position and during the Terror of 1794, they made him the director of the first school for the deaf. Later, he became a member of the first Ecole Normale, the National Institute, and the Académie Française. He is recognized today as having developed Enlightenment theories of pantomime, "signing,' and a form of "universal language" that later spread to Russia, Spain, and America. This is the first book-length biography of Sicard published in any language since 1873, despite Sicard’s international renown. This thoughtful, engaging work explores French and American sign language and deaf studies set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and Napoleon.

About the authors

Emmet Kennedy is Professor Emeritus of European History at George Washington University, USA. His book A Cultural History of the French Revolution was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Reviews

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2016

“In this compelling book, Kennedy … makes a sound contribution to deaf history scholarship. … Sicard became a monumental figure in deaf education and was largely responsible for refining French sign language. Kennedy brilliantly reconstructs Sicard’s path of ‘flawed, intriguing, and lucky survivor’ and chronicles his life amid the tumultuous climate of the French Revolution. … Overall, this fascinating study makes an important scholarly contribution to the field of deaf history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.” (H. Caldwell, Choice, Vol. 53 (10), June, 2016)

“Emmet Kennedy’s Abbé Sicard’s Deaf Education: Empowering the Mute, 1785–1820 is a slim volume that examines the life and works of Roch-Ambroise Cucurron, Abbé Sicard (1742–1822). … The book is certainly important for the history of deaf education, and provides important details that historians in that field will likely value.” (Karen E. Carter, American Historical Review, Vol. 122 (2), April 2017)

“In Abbé Sicard’s Deaf Education Emmet Kennedy … conducts a fascinating investigation into this intriguing character that not only provides insights into the sensory impaired and their experience of Revolutionary France but also tells us much about living at this tumultuous point in French history. … Kennedy’s detailed reconstruction of Sicard’s life, pieced together using archival sources from France and the USA, deserves much credit. It is meticulously researched and offers an important contribution to the field of disability history.” (Steven J. Taylor, Disability & Society, Vol. 32 (8), 2017)


Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-51286-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-51285-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Abbé Sicard's Deaf Education
Book Subtitle
Empowering the Mute, 1785-1820
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-51286-4
DOI
10.1057/9781137512864
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-51285-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 212
Topics