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. Video provided courtesy of Robert F. Panara.
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