Storytelling without Sound: Traditional Deaf Motifs and Performance in British Sign Language Storytelling

This is a past event

Elphinstone Institute Public Lecture Series

Scotland's 'culturally deaf' storytelling traditions, composed and performed in British Sign Language (BSL), tend to be overlooked when discussing Scottish cultural heritage and traditional arts. This talk will introduce the Scottish deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority, and outline its rich 'oral' tradition of storytelling – passed on not by word of mouth but by sign of hand. As well as having strong parallels with the traditional arts of other, spoken-language communitites, signed storytelling is distinctive in both form and content, and draws on different motifs to those of 'hearing' cultural traditions. Using examples of contemporary BSL storytelling practices in Scotland, we explore the artistry of storytelling in a visual-spatial world, the super-narrative functions attached to particular deaf motifs, and the cultural signficance of traditional signed storytelling for deaf storytellers and audiences alike.

The talk will be interpreted in BSL.

Ella Leith
Hosted by
Elphinstone Institute
MacRobert Building

No Booking required.

£3 admission, students free.