Robert Panara

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Robert F. Panara
Robert Panara in 2007
Robert Panara in 2007
Born (1920-07-08)July 8, 1920
Died July 20, 2014(2014-07-20) (aged 94)
Occupation Educator, Poet

Robert F. Panara (8 July 1920 - 20 July 2014) was a poet, a professor and a co-founder of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and the National Theater of the Deaf.[1] Panara is considered to be a pioneer in deaf culture studies in the United States.

Life[edit]

Panara was born in 1920 in The Bronx of New York City, and lost his hearing as a child from spinal meningitis.[2] After high school, he attended and graduated from Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University).[3]

He went on to teach at Gallaudet College, before moving to the Rochester Institute of Technology where he helped found the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).[4][5]

Panara was very interested in the theater and developed some of the first plays for deaf actors and audiences. He was instrumental in founding the National Theater of the Deaf in connection with the American School for the Deaf.

Poetry[edit]

Panara was a poet, and his collected poems were published in 1997.[6][7]

My ears are deaf, and yet I seem to hear
Sweet nature's music and the songs of man,
For I have learned from Fancy's artisan
How written words can thrill the inner ear..

From "On His Deafness"
On His Deafness and Other Melodies Unheard (1997)[8]

Legacy[edit]

In 1987 the Rochester Institute of Technology named its performing arts theater after him,[9] and established a scholarship fund in his name.[1]

In 2017 the United States Postal Service issued a stamp in its Distinguished Americans series honoring Robert Panara.[7][A]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ It is a nondenominated (forever) stamp for the 2-ounce first-class rate.[7]
  1. ^ a b "Deaf educator and pioneer Robert Panara dies at 94". The State. South Carolina. Associated Press (AP). 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Obituary: Robert Panara". The Economist. 2 August 2014. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Langer, Emily (23 July 2014). "Robert Panara, writer, poet, professor and pioneer of deaf studies, dies at 94". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ "Advisers are Named for Deaf Institute". The New York Times. 5 December 1965. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ NTID was established by an act of Congress in 1965 and is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  6. ^ Panara, Robert F. (1997). On His Deafness and Other Melodies Unheard. Rochester, New York: Deaf Life Press. ISBN 978-0-9634016-5-6. 
  7. ^ a b c Baadke, Michael (17 March 2017). "Meet Robert Panara, the latest subject of a Distinguished Americans stamp". Linn's Stamp News. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Panara, Robert (1997). On His Deafness and Other Melodies Unheard. Rochester, New York: Deaf Life Press. 
  9. ^ Goodman, James (22 July 2014). "Panara both inspired and popularized deaf culture". Democrat and Chronicle. Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lang, Harry G. (2007). Teaching from the Heart and Soul: The Robert F. Panara Story. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. ISBN 978-1-56368-358-9.