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Dada - Deaf Community

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da Vinci, Leonardo

Dada or dadaism was an avant-garde art and literary movement, dominant from about 1916 to 1922 as a protest against the senseless violence of World War I, which they believed had made all established moral and aesthetic values meaningless. Dada is French for hobby-horse, and was supposedly chosen at random from a dictionary. Cabaret Voltaire rose in Zurich (a refuge for political exiles during WWII) offering a theatre, literary gathering place, and exhibition centre. It exhibited the works of such artists as Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and Pablo
Picasso. Pablo actually developed collage (tearing up paper and randomly arranging the pieces) back in 1912, and it was picked up by other dadaists during WWI. Marcel Duchamp produced his "ready mades" by giving names to and signing everyday objects like snow shovels, urinals, and bottle racks.

Australian character actor Barry Humphries calls himself a dadaist - he created personas such as Melbourne megastar housewife (formerly Dame) Edna Everage, sheila-chasing Barry MacKenzie and drunken emissary sir Les Patterson. [GRL. EI. 'The Real Barry Humphries']


French Socialist.

Spiritual leader of Tibet.

DALEY, Richard Joseph
(1902-76) Chicago mayor (1955-76). Called the "last of the big-city bosses" because of his tight control of Chicago politics through wide-spread job patronage. He gained great power in national Democratic Party politics. "All civil servants in Chicago, from the Chief of Police to the bus drivers, had to be appointed with the mayor's approval. Daley made [sure jobs were] given to Democrats and Irish Catholics. The corruption and nepotism of Daley's administration was well known; yet it was largely ignored, because many people felt that 'Daley's Boys' kept the city functioning well, and Daley was re-elected with a large majority for 20 years." [EB. 'Cities in Crisis', Tony Reynolds, 1989]

DALI, Salvador
(1904-89) Spanish painter. He studies in Madrid and experimented in Impressionism and Pointillism. He was influenced by
Picasso, Miro and Surrealism. After reading Freud he said he wanted to "systemise confusion". Such paintings as 'Persistence of Memory' (1931 - "Soft Watches"), and 'The Sacrament of the Last Supper' (1955) became widely known and part of the definitive record of 20th-century art. Salvador said the true motivating forces in his work were his inbred Catalan sense of fantasy and his "megalomania". Displaying an early technical virtuosity, Dali worked in several media, including jewelry, advertisements, beer bottle design, and ballet sets and costumes. In collaboration with Bunuel, Dali created the famous surrealist films 'Un Chien andalou' (1928 - 'An Andalusian Dog') and 'L'Age d'or' (1931 - 'The Age of Gold'). His eccentric appearance - flowing capes, handlebar moustache, and popping eyes - made him recognized worldwide. [RE. GRL]

English chemist and meteorologist.

DALY, Fred

DALY, Mary
(1928-) Christian
Feminist writer. Born in Schenectady, NY. Educated at College of St Rose (BA 1950), Catholic University of America (MA 1952), St Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN (Ph.D 1954), University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Dr. Theol 1963, Ph.D 1965).

Her academic career has been as teacher of philosophy and theology, Cardinal Cushing College, Brookline, MA (1954-59); teacher of philosophy and theology, Junior Year Abroad programmes, Fribourg, Switzerland (1959-66); and assistant professor (1966-69) then associate professor of theology (1969-) Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA.

'Philosopher and theologian Mary Daly's work has evolved from criticism of the anti-feminist stance of the Catholic Church - in 'The Church and the Second Sex' - to later books of more universal scope, centring on the misogynistic tendencies of society and how to deal with them. Religion is a cornerstone of society, however, and remains the starting point for Daly's theories. She maintains that all religions are patriarchal and thus they legitimise the patriarchal attitudes of the modern world. All religions, she writes in 'Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism', "are erected as parts of the male's shelter against anomie. And the symbolic message of all the sects of the religion which is patriarchy is this: Women are the dreaded anomie. Consequently, women are the objects of male terror, the projected personifications of 'The Enemy.'"'

As the scope of Mary's books widened from a religious to a societal focus so did her interest in the role of language in the transformation of consciousness. Her books have gone from dealing with "antifeminism in language", to suggesting the need for the creation of new non-sexist words and later offering the reader a new feminist vocabulary.

Mary is a member of the American Academy of Religion, American Association of University Professors, American Association of University Women, and National Organization for Women.

Writings: 'Natural Knowledge of God in the Philosophy of Jacques Maritain' (1966), 'The Church and the Second Sex' (1968, 1985), 'Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation' (1973, 1985), 'Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism' (1990), 'Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy' (1984, 1992), 'Webster's First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language' (1987 - with Jane Caputi), 'Outercourse: The Be-Dazzling Voyage: Containing Recollections from My Logbook of a Radical Feminist Philosopher' (1992), 'Quintessence: Realizing the Outrageous, Contagious Courage of Women' (1998). [CAR. ...]

T COLOR = NAVY> "In this asymmetric system there is oppression of women - and of all others who are treated like women by powerful males, such as Third World people and poor people - and there is privilege."

(c370 BC) Syracusan courtier of
Dionysius the Elder. According to a legend recounted by the Roman writers Horace and Cicero, Damocles on one occasion commented to his sovereign on the grandeur and happiness of rulers. Dionysius soon thereafter invited his courtier to a luxurious banquet, where Damocles enjoyed the delights of the table until his attention was directed upward and he saw a sharp sword hanging above him by a single horsehair. By this device Dionysius made Damocles realize that insecurity might threaten those who appeared to be the most fortunate. Hence the expression "Sword of Damocles" meaning impending danger or threat. [MEC. PRS]

DAMPIER, William

A ballet company founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook for black dancers. Its repertoire also includes some ethnically-based works. Mitchell a leading dancer with New York City Ballet opened a school in a Harlem garage in 1968. It has subsequently moved into its own building in Harlem, offering courses in related arts while playing an important role in the community.

Mary Barbour, a seamstress who made costumes for the theatre, later took on small sewing jobs (though in retirement and suffering rheumatoid arthritis in her hands) and collected $US2000 for bishop Desmond Tutu's work in South Africa "so our people can be free". [GRL. TUTU]

DANIKEN, Erich von
(c1935-) Author of a number of books advocating the theory that "in Earth's remote past the planet was visited by beings from space who perhaps fathered humanity as we know it." His books include 'Chariots of the Gods?' (1968 - was God an alien astronaut?), 'Return to the Stars' (1968), 'The Gold of the Gods' (1972).

The Dance of Death movement spontaneously emerged in response to the hardship of medieval
Feudalism and the Black Death (or Bubonic plague, 1347-50, which wiped out a quarter of Europe's population). Peasant sufferers of the plague, war, poverty and famine danced in desperation in graveyards, surrounded by symbols of death. Dancers represented emperors and bishops as well as Peasants - showing that all are equal in the end. Art picked up the theme in graphics, theatre and literature showing Death as one of the dancers avenging the peasant sufferers over their masters and hardships as well as demonstrating the vanity of wealth and rank. Hans Holbein's (c1497-1543) series of famous woodcuts 'Totentanz' powerfully illustrates these themes.

(1265-1321) Italian poet. Dante Alighieri was born in
Florence during troubled times. He was infatuated by "Beatrice" whom he only saw once or twice. She is believed to be Bice Portinari who married Simone di Bardi and died in 1290. He wrote in the Tuscany dialect and gained such a following that Latin was dropped and Italian adopted for literary works.

'La Vita Nuova' (1295) is a tribute to his beloved Beatrice after he had found out she had died. He then wrote 'Convivio' a philosophical work. He joined the Bianchi party, attained municipal office but was imprisoned and fled in 1301.

His 'Divine Comedy' (1314-1321) is a description of hell, purgatory (where Catholics await judgement day) and paradise. Dante experiences these places, first guided by the poet Virgil through hell and purgatory, then by Beatrice into paradise. Hell comprises of ten circles forming an inverted cone with its point at the centre of the Earth. A class of sinners is tormented in each circle, descending from minor sinners in the first circle to the arch-sinner Lucifer in the last, hence in descending order; cowards and the undecided, unbaptised but virtuous and good heathens, carnal sinners, gluttons, misers and spendthrifts, the ill-tempered, heretics and teachers of errors, tyrants and murderers, deceivers, traitors. [PRS. TBD. LOA]

I saw the lady, who first appeared to me veiled beneath the angelic fesitval, directing her eyes to me this side the stream.

Albeit the veil which fell from her head, crowned with Minerva's leaves, did not let her appear manifest,

Queenlike in bearing yet stern, she continued, like one who speaks and holds back the hottest words till the last:

"Look at me well; verily am I, verily am I Beatrice. How didst thou deign to draw night the mount? knewest thou not that here man is happy?"

Mine eyes drooped down to the clear fount; but beholding me therein, I drew them back to the grass, so great a shame weighed down my brow.
- Purgatorio

Name given to the period of history between the fall of the main
Roman Empire (5th century) to the reign of Charlemagne (800AD) or sometimes to the Renaissance (15th century). Also has connotations of barbarism and intellectual darkness.

DARROW, Clarence Seward
(1857-1938) Criminal defence lawyer. After a career as a corporate lawyer he turned to labour law. In 1895 he unsuccessfully defended union leader Eugene V
Debs during the Pullman Strike. In 1907 he won an acquittal for union leader Bill Haywood on a charge of conspiring to murder a former state governor. Strongly opposed the death sentence. He lost the defence in the so-called Great Monkey Trial in 1925 but showed he had greater understanding of the Bible and Evolution than the opposing fundamentalist lawyer. Among his numerous books was 'The Story of My Life' (1932). [GRL]

DARWIN, Charles
Darwin (1809-82) Evolution theorist. Collected specimens and evidence of changes in animal species as naturalist on board the Beagle (1831-6) during its around the world voyage. This resulted in 'The Origin of Species' (1859) which opened the world to the theory of
Evolution (even though Charles wasn't the first to suggest it). As boy at school he was considered "rather below the common standard of intellect".

Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, Charles was the fifth child of a wealthy and sophisticated English family. His maternal grandfather was the successful china and pottery entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood; his paternal grandfather was the well-known 18th-century physician and savant Erasmus Darwin. After graduating from the elite school at Shrewsbury in 1825, young Charles went to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. In 1827 he dropped out of medical school and entered the University of Cambridge, in preparation for becoming a clergyman of the Church of England. There he met two stellar figures: Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), a geologist, and John Stevens Henslow (1795-1861), a naturalist. John not only helped build Charles's self-confidence but also taught his student to be a meticulous and painstaking observer of natural phenomena and collector of specimens. After graduating from Cambridge in 1831, the 22-year-old Charles was taken aboard the English survey ship HMS Beagle, largely on John's recommendation, as an unpaid naturalist on a scientific expedition around the world. [TUS. PRS. MEC]


(1808-1879) French lithographer and caricaturist of social and political life, esp of corrupt regime, injustice of law courts and hypocrisy of middle class.

DAVIES, William
Welsh writer.

NZ writer, historian.

DAVIS, Angela
(1944-) US left-wing activist for black rights, prominent in the student movement of the 1960s. In 1970 she went into hiding after being accused of supplying guns used in the murder of a judge who had been seized as a hostage in an attempt to secure the release of three black convicts. She was captured, tried, and acquitted. At the University of California she studied under Herbert
Marcuse, and was assistant professor of philosophy at UCLA 1969-70. In 1980 she was the Communist vice-presidential candidate. [WCE] The 'Rolling Stones' song 'Angie' is supposedly about her.

DAVIS, Ossie
(1917-) US actor and playwright, civil rights activist, penned 'Cotton Comes to Harlem' (1970) etc. Ossie wrote and co-starred, with his wife, Ruby Dee (1924-), in 'Purlie Victorious' (1961), and in 1981 he again costarred with her in the highly acclaimed series 'With Ossie and Ruby'. He also won an Emmy in 1969 for his performance in the television drama 'Teacher, Teacher'. Bibliography by Lewis Funke, 'The Curtain Rises: The Story of Ossie Davis' (1971). [GLR]

DAVITT, Michael
Irish nationalist.

DAWKINS, Richard
(1941-) UK zoologist whose book 'The Selfish Gene' (1976) popularised the theories of sociobiology (social behaviour in humans and animals in the context of evolution). 'The Blind Watchmaker' (1986) explains the modern theory of evolution. [WCE]

English comedian.


DAY, The
Poem (1763) by Giuseppe Parini (1729-1799) which ridicules the aristocrats of his time for their stupid and unproductive lives. The moral degradation of the rich is sharply contrasted with the simple, healthier and happier life of labourers and farmers. Parini was ordained as a priest, who also held govt office and worked as a teacher.

(1904-1972) Irish poet with Left-wing sympathies. With W H
Auden and Stephen Spender, he was one of the influential left-wing poets of the 1930s. He also wrote detective novels under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake.

Born at Ballintubber, Ireland, he was educated at Oxford and then taught at Cheltenham College 1930-35. His work, which includes 'From Feathers to Iron' 1931 and 'Overtures to Death' 1938, is marked by accomplished lyrics and sustained narrative power. Professor of poetry at Oxford 1951-56, he published critical works and translations from Latin of Virgil’s 'Georgics' and the 'Aeneid'. He was also British poet laureate 1968-1972. [WCE]

DE BONO, Edward
(1933-) British medical doctor and psychologist whose concept of lateral thinking, first expounded in 'The Use of Lateral Thinking' (1967) involves thinking round a problem rather than tackling it head-on. [WCE]

Abstract painter.

DE PAUL, st Vincent
French charity worker.

Essay & critic.

DE SISMONDI, Jean Charles Leonard Simonde
(1773-1842) Swiss economist and historian. Once follower of Adam
Smith but later urged the regulation of capitalism and protection of the Poor.

DE THIERRY, baron Charles Philip Hippolytus
(1794-1864) Early NZ colonialist of "noble" birth. Wanted Britain, France, then the Netherlands to claim NZ and set him up as ruler. Later called himself "Sovereign Chief of
New Zealand". [NZH]

See Hearing Aid.

Perhaps one of the most isolated and unrecognised urban communities is that of the Deaf. Deaf children are usually born to hearing parents but are unable to communicate with them or their siblings let alone the outside world. The worth of mainstream schools in their education has been hotly debated over the years.

The first known school for the deaf was opened in Paris about 1760 by Charles Michel de l'Epee using signs from the Parisian deaf community as the basis of instruction (the "manual" method). Then in 1778 Samuel Heinicke opened a school in Germany using speech and lipreading only (the "oral" method). More schools opened in Europe and in USA, and until the late 1800s, most were state-supported, sign language-using residential institutions. Advocates of the oral method decried the manual system as alienating deaf chuildren from their hearing parents, prevented the deaf from assimulating the hearing culture and actually increased the chances of promoting genetic deafness. By 1880, an international meeting of hearing educators - the Milan Congress - declared speech preferable to sign language in deaf education. Most American and European schools soon switched to the oral method.

In the 1960s research proved that the deaf's own signing were real languages and not random gestures. Also the schools could not cover up the fact that deaf children were doing poorly under the oral system. This oral method assumes that deaf children already know English (or other hearing language of instruction). That is wrong. Hearing children pick up language first via the ear and then learn to associate the written word with its spoken one. Deaf children, however, never hear the spoken word in the first place and so have great difficulty in lip reading let alone word reading. In English-speaking countries - for example - English at best is a second language for the deaf. In New Zealand the average reading age for deaf adults is that of only an 8 year old (compared to 12 for hearing adults).

Then "Total Communication" (TC) was adopted. This combines the oral method with signs made up by hearing people. These artificial signs were often based on spoken language - eg, if a teacher wanted her students to pay attention she would point to her watch and then to her chest - a pun on the English word "watch". For someone not a native English speaker it is meaningless (eg, the corresponding instruction in German is "Armuhr mir", literally "arm clock me"). Also TC uses spoken language syntax and every word not matter how insignificant is signed (eg, "a", "the"), whereas in a native sign language they would often be incorporated with other words. The NZ sign for a deaf person is to point to the ear from below. A deaf person asking a stranger if they were also deaf would point to their own ear with a questioning look on their face. In TC each word "Are" "you" "a" "deaf" "person" "?" would have to be laboriously signed out. Here at the turn of the 21st century the trend is moving away from TC and towards the deaf's own sign language. The deaf hate TC and mistrust hearing people.

NZ sign language is based on the British one, while American Sign Language (ASL) is a totally different language and therefore mutually unintelligible. NZ even has dialects stemming from the four deaf boarding schools dotted around the country. Once sign language was banned in the classroom so deaf students would teach each other secretly in the playground, and hence dialects would occur because of the enforced isolation. Occasionally signs mean the same in hearing and deaf languages like the thumbs up gesture or the fingers - incorporated with the associated facial gestures, of course. See also Hearing Aid. [GRL. ...]

US diplomat.

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