Deaf Studies Conference

On November 1-3, the American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies department held the

Deaf Studies Conference
on campus, a first in more than 20 years, hosting various workshops, presentations, and other collaborative activities with presenters coming in from throughout the world.

The conference, themed “Transformations,” studied existing frameworks through the generation of new knowledge and perspectives. “We live in a time of enormous social, political and technological change, a time when categories, identities, boundaries, are becoming increasingly fluid, a time that is increasingly transformational,” explains the conference marketing brochure.

“After many months of discussing, planning, and worrying, the 2018 Deaf Studies Conference: Transformations finally happened,” said Dr. Arlene B. Kelly, 77 G-92, ASL and Deaf Studies professor and chair.

“Attendees expressed a lot of gratitude for this conference, a first since 1997. I even had some reflective takeaways from the conference. There is so much research that needs to be conducted to make significant transformations in the world.”

With a generous sponsorship from DawnSignPress, the department was fortunate to have three international keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Annelies Kusters from Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Dr. Maartje De Meulder from the University of Namur (Namur Belgium)
  • Dr. Yutaka Osugi from Tsukuba University of Technology (Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan)

Tawny Hlibok, ’05 & G-’10, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies assistant professor, and Matthew Malzkuhn, ’05 & G-’07, instructor, co-chaired the conference.

“It was incredible to see scholars and advocates from all over the United States and the world come to discuss new knowledge and trends in the field of deaf studies,” said Hlibok. “Gallaudet is the perfect place to do that.”

Featured photo: Trisha Houston, of California State University, Fresno, presented “Defining Academia Influences on Mobility, Identity, and Culture of Deaf Scholars in Higher Education.” Houston, an adjunct lecturer at Fresno City College and CSU Fresno, is preparing to defend her dissertation for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Maartje De Meulder
Dr. Maartje De Meulder, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Namur in Belgium, gives a presentation titled: “Transformations in Deaf Studies: Implications for Sign Language Policy, Revitalization, and Rights.” De Meulder has co-edited two edited volumes, Innovations in Deaf Studies and the forthcoming book Recognizing Sign Languages, and has publications in journals including Language Policy, Language Problems and Language Planning, Current Issues in Language Planning, Human Rights Quarterly and Sign Language Studies, and a range of book chapters in various books.
Carolyn McCaskill
Carolyn McCaskill, ’77, G-’79 & PhD ’05, ASL and Deaf Studies professor, gives a presentation on Black ASL. You can view more information about the Black ASL project that McCaskill spearheaded here.
Luilly Segundo
Student Luilly Segundo shares details on Panamanian Sign Language at the poster session, held at JSAC on Friday, November 2.
Kailyn Aaron-Lozano
Student Kailyn Aaron-Lozano elaborates on the nuances of Plains Indian Sign Language.
Various booths at Gallaudet Kellogg Conference Hotel, representing different deaf organizations and vendors.
On November 2, various booths were set up at Gallaudet Kellogg Conference Hotel, where most workshops were held, representing different deaf organizations and vendors.
Ronald and Melvia Nomeland
Ronald, ’58 and Melvia, ’61 & G-’79, Nomeland, are shown at their booth selling their published book, The Deaf Community in America: History in the Making. Photos by Zhee Chatmon.

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