The second issue of Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ) has been released. This new collection of peer-reviewed scholarly and artistic work marks the one-year anniversary of a groundbreaking publication.

DSDJ is the first peer-reviewed academic and creative arts journal that offers articles, commentary, literary works, and visual art in American Sign Language, English, and International Sign Language. The fall 2010 issue, carrying the theme of “Science and the Senses,” also contains the first American Sign Language (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.

The new issue, released in November, includes four sections in a visual format unlike any other journal. It contains five academic articles, four commentaries on contemporary issues in the deaf community, eight pieces of ASL literature, and the work of three visual artists. Each appears as a video or series of photographs, with written English translation available.

“For the signing community, DSDJ provides a platform to study and critically examine academic use and discourse in signed languages,” said Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the Deaf Studies Program at Gallaudet and co-editor of DSDJ. “The contributions to this journal are creating a body of critical and creative work in deaf studies while furthering innovative ways of publishing in the digital world.”

This body of work has drawn a vast international audience. Since its launch in November 2009, the site has received more than 27,000 visits from 102 countries.

The author list in the first two issues features leading deaf scholars, including Ted Supalla, Peter Hauser, and MJ Bienvenu. The journal also serves as a launching pad for emerging talent in signed poetry, storytelling, and visual art.

The journal has clearly made its mark, said Dr. Benjamin Bahan, who co-edits the publication with Bauman and is a professor of ASL and deaf studies at Gallaudet. “Within a year’s time, DSDJ has ushered in a new era of possibility for deaf studies and sign language scholars around the globe,” said Bahan.

The next issue of DSDJ will focus on the theme of “Linguistic Human Rights and Language Planning.” The editors encourage articles from anywhere in the world that explore sign language planning efforts, revitalization of languages, and policy development. Submissions may examine the issues of status, acquisition, attitude, and corpus. Articles may answer the questions: What is being done to ensure access to signed languages for future generations of deaf individuals? What current issues are deaf and signing communities facing throughout the world? How can digital technology be used to increase access to sign language texts? What educational reforms are needed to ensure that deaf education capitalizes on the many advantages of being bilingual and multilingual?

For submission forms and further details, contact Managing Editor Melissa Malzkuhn.

–Rhea Yablon Kennedy

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