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Dr. Robert F. Panara: a profile

 Digital Work
Identifier: ds_0031_panaraprofile_cap_01.mp4


  • Creation: 1984



Robert F. Panara is a legendary professor of English, literature, and theater. He is also known as a poet, historian, drama-club coach, and authority on deaf figures in literature. Shot at Johnson County Community College (Kansas) in 1984 during a workshop Dr. Panara was conducting, the production is divided into two parts. In the first, Panara provides an overview of the establishment of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), for which he was hired as the first deaf professor, and how he taught both deaf and hearing students in the same class. He also started the theater department at NTID and helped found the National Theatre of the Deaf. In the second part, he performs creative interpretation of literature in sign language, including his own On His Deafness.Dr. Panara demonstrates how he has inspired countless others to tackle the supposedly "inaccessible" and "challenging" literary genre of poetry and make it fun and enriching.


1,722.71 Megabytes (mp4)


Sign Languages


General Note

This material was digitized as part of a CLIR Hidden Collections grant: "Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive (RIT/NTID DSA) in Rochester, NY." Original VHS recordings were transferred to mp4 format, captioned, and voiced, by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Production Services department.

Processing Information

Dr. Joan Naturale, NTID Librarian, provided accurate sign language transcriptions of this video; voicing from ASL into English was provided by Miriam Lerner, performing arts interpreter. Dr. Naturale also prepared the addendum.

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA