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The 2016-17 Canisius College Archives Speaker Series will present a multi-faceted program with local professors from Buffalo and prominent Catholic and public universities on Wednesday, October 26 at 5:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

Bruce Dierenfield, PhD, professor of history and director of the All-College Honors Program at Canisius, will be joined by David Gerber, PhD, professor emeritus of history at the University at Buffalo, for a presentation entitled: “Catholic and Profoundly Deaf: Jim Zobrest, Disability and the Delicate Balance between Church and State.”

The program will look at the U.S. Supreme Court Case of Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District (1993), in which parents of a “profoundly deaf” young man from Arizona won the right to have the government pay for his sign language-interpreter in a Roman Catholic high school. In particular, there will be an examination of how people understand the justice system and why they seek its assistance; the shifting boundary between church and state; and the relatively new field of disability studies.

Drs. Dierenfield and Gerber will also consider the challenges of investigating contemporary history, including conducting first-person interviews, using records of Supreme Court case participants and sifting through archival materials.

The Archives Speaker Series showcases scholars who have a special understanding of archival research, based on their own experiences; and who have completed a book or other expression of scholarship reliant on archival research.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Kathleen DeLaney, archivist and special collections librarian, at or at 888-8421.

Submitted by: Kathleen DeLaney, archivist and special collections librarian, ALB