Annabelle Xerri, a Maltese Deaf activist, and Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, a hearing American anthropologist, analyze Annabelle’s social media posts detailing how she navigates sensory and linguistic asymmetries between herself and her hearing children. These posts are part of a larger activist effort to ensure that d/Deaf children in Malta are provided access to sign language. We situate these social media posts in the broader moment in which her activism is unfolding, showing how the posts navigate the benefits and potential pitfalls of different popular and academic framings of the relationship between spoken and signed languages. In so doing, we follow Leila Monaghan, whose work called for and evinced nuanced attention to how broader historical contexts shaped and are shaped by d/Deaf social and linguistic practices and which attended to the roles that d/Deaf and hearing theories about language have played in these processes.

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