Showing posts from January, 2008

All Universities are Cultural Institutions

Commentary: All Universities are Cultural Institutions Jordan said in 1998: “becoming a completely bilingual ASL-English community” is the goal of Gallaudet University The following letter to the community by I. King Jordan in 1998 shows that the idea that bilingualism is the goal at Gallaudet is not controversial and should have never been in doubt. (See the underlined sentence in the 9th paragraph of Jordan’s open letter, below.) However, in his 1998 letter, Jordan hedged his statement about bilingualism by embedding it within an explicitly anti-intellectual frame. In an brazenly attempted act of intellectual prestidigitation, Jordan introduces a non-sequitur, attempting to imply that the existence of “many kinds of signing and many kinds of signers” is something that allegedly obligates us to avoid debating “what it should be named,” so that we can supposedly “devise a valid and legitimate method to describe and evaluate what that practice is.” But, bilingualism