Date of Award

Summer 7-5-2013

Document Type


First Advisor

Christopher Jon Heuer

Second Advisor

Teresa Blankmeyer Burke

Third Advisor

Kurt Kaufmann


Kelsey Young’s science fiction novel Eyeth, to use Tom Humphries’ phrase, is important for deaf literature because it exemplifies “culture talking” not the proof (“talking culture”) of a monolithic culture apart from the mainstream but complex deaf life on its own terms. It also focuses on a wide range of deaf people involved in intra-­deafcentric conflicts; deaf sub-­‐groups include a range of communication preferences (speaking, cued speech, signing) as well as multiple physical differences (deaf-­blind, cerebral palsy, wheelchair users) though not ethnic diversity. A critical introduction to the novel explains that science fiction allows the creation of a world that does not exist as a real physical place and allows exploration of intra-‐group issues that a mainstream context of oppression of all deaf people obscures. The introduction also relates a discussion of the countries on Eyeth to colonialism and post-­colonialism theory to provide a framework to the reader for the subsequent analysis of how Eyeth uses but also subverts colonialist thinking through characters’ actions. The novel itself is about a young man, Virgil G, training under the tutelage of the current Guardian of Eyeth, Shawn Wright, who ensures Eyeth doesn’t stray from its original goals of being a deaf world.



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