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The Carter Series

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The Carter Series presents lectures focused on outstanding research on women, including the annual Faculty Research Award Lecture, funded by the Mae and Robert Carter Endowment in Women's Studies and presented by the University of Delaware's Department of Women & Gender Studies.

The Carter Series lectures are intended to provide an opportunity to explore varied topics addressing contemporary feminism and to foster an environment in which feminist ideas may thrive. Presenters include faculty, staff, and current and former students addressing topics and issues affecting women's lives.


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The Carter Series Presents

Jaipreet Virdi

Dr. Jaipreet Virdi

At the November 2020 Carter Series Lecture, "Gendering Deafness: Dorothy Brett in Art and Technology," the 2019 Faculty Research Award Recipient Dr. Jaipreet Virdi discussed painter Dorothy Eugiené Brett's technologies and artistic representations of sound to examine how her performative enactments of deafness enabled her to affirm her identity as a deaf woman.  For nearly 60 years, Brett (1883–1977) made use of multiple hearing prostheses she collectively referred to as her "ear machines": trumpets, auricles, carbon acoustic devices, and vacuum tube hearing aids. She relied on these machines in crucial ways: as technologies of assimilation, as objects of power to affirm her class and gender roles, and tools for negotiating the often-contested boundaries between hearing and deafness. As deafness shaped Brett's physical and social environments, it also influenced her artistic style: many of her paintings embody her acoustemology, shaped by what she describes as a "different communication," containing elements of movement and rhythm aided by Brett's ear machines and her interpretations of sounds around her.

The link to view Dr. Virdi's recorded lecture is "Gendering Deafness: Dorothy Brett in Art and Technology." 

Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, Assistant Professor, Department of History at the University of Delaware, received the 2019 Women's Studies Faculty Research Award. Dr. Virdi is a historian of medicine, technology, and disability. Her research and teaching interests include the history of medicine, the history of science, disability history, disability technologies, and material/visual culture studies. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto (2014). Dr. Virdi's first book, Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History (University of Chicago Press, 2020), rethinks how therapeutic negotiation and the influence of pseudo-medicine shaped what it meant to be a "normal" deaf citizen in American history. Examining how deaf/deafened individuals attempted to amplify their hearing through various types of surgical, proprietary, and/or technological "deafness cures," the book charts the dissemination of ideas about hearing loss from beyond medical elites to popular culture and the popular imagination.

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