Deaf history is a small, interdisciplinary field that still lacks institutionalization in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For a long time, the history of deafness and deaf people has been almost exclusively written by hearing professionals and from hearing perspectives. Deaf history that includes diverse deaf perspectives is still a relatively young, but exciting area of research. This is the starting point for the DFG network project “Deaf history in German-speaking Europe. The interdisciplinary history of a minority,” which will run for three years starting in the fall of 2020. It provides an interdisciplinary forum of exchange for addressing important issues in deaf history and for collaborating with deaf organizations. As part of medical, social and media history, the history of education and language, deaf history provides insight into issues of exclusion and equality, the claims of science and medicine versus the rights and autonomy of individuals and social groups, or of the quest for normalization versus sociocultural definitions of disability and difference.
We work in close collaboration with the German, Swiss, and Austrian Federation of the Deaf, DGB, ÖGLB, and SGB-FSS.