RAHS Special Event – Hearing Maud: Deafness in the Archives
February 10 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
From 2004 I spent fifteen years researching and writing about Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of nineteenth century expatriate Australian novelist Rosa Praed. Maud was sent to a school that taught her to speak rather than sign (a more natural mode of communication for deaf people) which made her life very difficult.
In this presentation I will discuss the little-known history of deaf education, Rosa Praed’s beliefs about eugenics and the terrible impact this had on her daughter, and the ways in which my own deafness shaped my research and writing about Maud. I will conclude with a few thoughts about disability and history in the archives.
About the speaker: Jessica White is the author of the award-winning A Curious Intimacy (Penguin 2007) and Entitlement (Penguin 2012), and a hybrid memoir about deafness, Hearing Maud (UWA Publishing, 2019), which won the 2020 Michael Crouch Award for a debut work of biography and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Jessica has received funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts and has undertaken residencies and fellowships in Hobart, Rome and Munich. She is currently writing an ecobiography of Western Australia’s first non- Indigenous female scientist, nineteenth century botanist Georgiana Molloy.RESERVE TICKETS