Zverina Lecture, Fall 2023 (In person or Live Stream)

Thursday, November 2,  2023 
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Jaipreet Virdi PhD presents
Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History

During the late nineteenth century, entrepreneurs began to glut the direct-to-consumer medical market with a plethora of remedies they professed could miraculously cure deafness. They claimed their remedies and machines fostered a world of unbridled optimism for providing “hope” to deaf ears. Even as medical specialists denounced these “cure-all” treatments as quackery in its finest form, the messages of restoring hearing would transfer over to the hearing aid industry. Focusing on the marketing of deafness cures—hearing trumpets, electrotherapy apparatuses, and hearing aids—this presentation unravels the many ways deaf people sought to restore or gain hearing. This history provides broad context for understanding the lived experiences of deaf people and how cultural pressures of normalcy significantly stigmatized deafness.

Jaipreet Virdi
Photo: Max Plank Society, David Ausserhofer

Born in Kuwait to Sikh parents, Jaipreet Virdi lost her hearing at age four to bacterial meningitis. A product of “mainstreamed” education, she learned to lip-read and rely on her hearing aids. Virdi received her doctorate from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Delaware where she teaches courses on disability histories, the history of medicine, and health activism. Her first book, Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History was published in 2020 by the University of Chicago Press.

The event is free, registration is required for those who want to attend in person.
Please register at: https://forms.gle/8NeFj6kdRum2jPZVA
Live stream link: www.case.edu/livestream/s1
For those attending in person the event will be held at:
Allen Memorial Medical Libary
Zverina Room, 3rd floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44106