Lecture spotlight: ‘The Invention of Miracles’ about Bell’s quest to end deafness

The annual Thornburgh Family Lecture on Disability Law & Policy on March 20 will feature Katie Booth, author of “The Invention of Miracles:  Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness.”

The book takes new look at an American icon. As the son of a deaf woman and, later, husband to another, Bell’s goal in life from adolescence was to teach deaf students to speak. Even his tinkering sprang from his teaching work; the telephone had its origins as a speech reading machine. It also looks at Bell’s efforts to suppress American Sign Language. 

The event is free and open to the public from 1 to 2 p.m. March 20 in the Lower Lounge of the William Pitt Union and will be available via Zoom. Registration is required.

The Thornburgh Family Lecture Series on Disability Law and Policy is sponsored by the Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. The series was created through the generosity of Dick and Ginny Thornburgh as 2003 recipients of the $50,000 Henry B. Betts Award. The fund has been supplemented by grants from the Office of the Chancellor and assistance from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the School of Law, the Office of Disability Resources and Services, and the David C. Frederick Honors College.