Katie Booth and Brian Greenwald
Virtual Event Sponsored by Museums on the Green
Tuesday, October 5
What if your greatest invention overshadowed your life’s mission? What if your life’s work, though well-intentioned, harmed those you wanted to help most? Alexander Graham Bell’s mother was deaf; his wife, Mabel Hubbard, was, too. His goal in life was to teach deaf students to speak. In fact, he championed “oralism” and went to considerable lengths to stamp out American Sign Language altogether. His greatest invention, the telephone, was the surprising outcome of his effort to create a speech reading machine. The Invention of Miracles looks at this genius in an entirely different way. It weaves together a moving love story with a dazzling tale of innovation–including the inventor’s down-to-the-wire battle with Elisha Gray to patent the telephone. It also looks at the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy and the deaf community’s fight to reclaim a once-forbidden language. Katie Booth has been researching this story for over fifteen years, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. Raised in a mixed hearing/deaf family, she’s also lived with this story her entire life. It’s given her a unique perspective on language, power and deafness.
Nonmembers $10 / Members $5
For more information, please contact Museums on the Green directly.