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This second issue of the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ) has been released, marking a milestone for scientific discussion in American Sign Language (ASL). The issue is now available to view online.

DSDJ includes a variety of articles, commentary, literary works, and visual art. The fall 2010 issue, with the theme of “science and the senses,” also contains the first ASL presentations of scientific work supported by the National Science Foundation’s Science of Learning Center for Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) located at Gallaudet.

Several members of the Gallaudet community were selected for publication. Sharing the executive editor role are ASL and Deaf Studies professors Dr. Dirksen Bauman and Dr. Ben Bahan. The managing editor is VL2’s Coordinator of Community Engagement and alumna Melissa Malzkuhn. Psychology assistant professor Dr. Raylene Paludneviciene contributed a piece on developing ASL assessment tests; Cindy Officer, who is the coordinator of adult degree programs, provided a commentary on phonocentrism, the belief that vocal communication is superior to signed communication.

Dr. Susan Mather, a professor in the Department of Linguistics, presents her research on representing sounds in sign language. Continuing a series he began in the first issue of DSDJ, Bahan shares findings on sensory orientation.

Undergraduate Colin Analco shows his skills as an emerging visual storyteller with the piece “Snare of the Arrow,” and several students sign for MA candidate Elsie Ritchie’s “Campfire Stories.” Alumni featured in the issue include Megan Malzkuhn and Dr. David Corina.

Articles from VL2-affiliated contributors in the “Articles” section include Dr. Peter Hauser discussing his work in “Deaf Eyes: Visual Learning and Deaf Gain.” Hauser’s article is the first piece to include both ASL and International Sign versions, a feat completed in collaboration with Melissa Malzkuhn.
Dr. Jill Morford co-authored an article with her students, Bry Burns and Joshua Staley, breaking grounds in collaborating for publishing in sign language. Their article is titled, “Seeing Signs: Language Experience and Handshape Perception.”

Corina collaborated with Sarah Hafer, a research specialist who works at Corina’s lab, contributing an article on his work in mirror neuron systems, titled, “Evaluating Mirror Neuron System Accounts of Language: Evidence from ASL.” The “Commentary” section then offers perspectives on current issues of policy, education and advocacy affecting deaf/signing communities. As a compliment to these critical matters, DSDJ also celebrates the creative expression of the deaf and signing communities by foregrounding imaginative work in the “Literature” and “Visual Arts” sections.

In the “History” section, Dr. Ted Supalla makes a return to DSDJ, featuring his findings from his linguistic archeological dig through the histories of French Sign Language and ASL.

DSDJ is the first peer-reviewed academic and creative arts journal in American Sign Language and English. The next issue will focus on linguistic human rights and language planning.

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