Jennifer Esmail

Jennifer Esmail is a coordinator in the Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto. She formerly held the positions of assistant professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has published research on the representation of deafness and disability in Victorian literature and culture in ELH: English Literary History, Sign Language Studies, Victorian Poetry, and Victorian Review.

Listed in: Medical Humanities · British History - Victorian Era · Victorian Studies · Literary Studies




Winner of the 2013 Sonya Rudikoff Award for best first book in Victorian Studies

Short-listed for the 2013 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize.

Reading Victorian Deafness is the first book to address the crucial role that deaf people, and their unique language of signs, played in Victorian culture.

“Jennifer Esmail has written the definitive work on deafness and language in Victorian England. But beyond that she has contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the way that language, spoken and written, was understood in that era culturally, politically, and socially. Since language was so central to the Victorians, this book opens a window not only on deafness but the larger Victorian culture as well.”

Lennard Davis, Department of English, University of Illinois at Chicago