Dr. Lorraine Leeson

Director, Center for Deaf Studies
Trinity College

Dr Leeson presents

Intersectional Identity Matters: Constructing and Performing Identity in Interpreted Settings

This presentation offers an opportunity for interpreters – especially mentors, peer mentors, and interpreter educators – to explore aspects of how identity, the performance of identity, and how we construct our identities has an impact on our interpersonal relationships within the interpreting community, with the deaf community, and with the broad range of communities whom we serve in our work as interpreters.

Dr. Leeson draws on work on the performance of identity(Bulcholz and Hall 2005, 2010, Castells 2004, Cronin 2006, intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991), and effort (work) (Brunson 2011, Gile 1995, Leeson 2014). She will also present evidence emerging from a number of empirical studies with interpreters and deaf people (Bontempo et al. 2014a, b; Leeson et al. 2014), as well as from interpreters who report that their identities impact on interpreting contexts. Participants will learn about the construction of identity zone which permeates human interaction, and is something that we must be mindful of as interpreters.

Lecturer Bio:

Dr. Lorraine Leeson is Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin) and Ireland’s inaugural Professor of Deaf Studies. She has published widely on aspects of the linguistics and sociolinguistics of Irish Sign Language and in the area of signed language interpreting.

She has engaged in pan-European research work with academic institutions, Deaf communities and interpreting organisations for over two decades and is currently engaged on a project concerned with Deaf people’s access to justice across several EU Member States (Justisigns). She is also the coordinator of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML’s) first project focusing on signed languages – PRO-Signs – a project that looks at curricula and assessment expectations when teaching signed languages for professional purposes with collaboration from over 30 countries across Europe.

In 2008, she was named a European Language Ambassador for her work on signed languages. Lorraine is Chair of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Committee of Experts and in 2013-14 she was based in the US as the “Julian and Virginia Cornell Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. She is currently very happy to be (finally) working on a volume with her friend and colleague, Jemina Napier, due in 2015.

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