Credentials: PhD

I'm Julie A. Hochgesang /hoʊkˌsæŋ/, a sighted Deaf white woman who uses visual ASL and English (and knows a smattering of other signed languages - mainly Kenyan Sign Language). I've lived in New Jersey, North Illinois, South California, Kenya and the DC area. In short, I'm interested in documentation - the digital record of knowledge that can be openly shared - of the language use of the ASL communities. As a member and/or ally of diverse communities (e.g., people of color, LGBTQ, different regions and so on), I believe in making space for all kinds of knowledge, especially those that have traditionally not been shared. 

For a bit of background, I attended college at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where I majored in English and minored in Native American Studies (1999). I then taught developmental English for two years at CSUN before moving to Kenya, East Africa to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In Kenya, I taught for 2 years at a deaf school on the coast and worked with the deaf community in developing a CD dictionary for KSL. When I returned to the states, I wanted to continue work with language documentation so I attended Gallaudet for a PhD in linguistics. I received my MA in 2007 and, in 2013, completed my dissertation which focused on evaluating the use of different notation systems for signed languages in the study of child language acquisition.

Along with the Peace Corps, my early research experiences at Gallaudet were influential. First, I worked at (now closed) GRI (Gallaudet Research Institute) with Dr. Michael Karchmer and Dr. Ross E. Mitchell. I then worked with Professor Deborah Chen Pichler for over four years as her lab assistant on a couple of projects. The first was for a cross-linguistic study of possessives and existentials, an international study led by Dr. Ulrike Zeshan. Then, I became her lab manager for a longitudinal study of young CODA children in which we tracked early ASL and English development (this project was done in conjunction with Diane Lillo-Martin and Ronice De Quadros). For that project, I became quite familiar with ELAN, a software program used for annotation (transcribing). Since then, I have given ELAN workshops and served as an ELAN consultant. I also worked on the ID Gloss Project, a collaborative project headed by Dr. Lillo-Martin of University of Connecticut. Finally, I also taught in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies for two years (2010-2012).  

I'm currently a professor of Linguistics and teach both graduate and undergraduate courses for linguistics. I also do research and service. I'm particularly interested in phonology and phonetics of signed languages, language documentation (fieldwork, transcription and corpus linguistics) of signed languages and making linguistics accessible to the general community (ASL teachers, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, or anyone who's interested in knowing about language). 

Some of the projects I've worked on include: a language documentation project with the Deaf Haitian community (LSHDoP) from 2014-2015; SLAAASh (Sign Language Acquisition, Annotation, Archiving and Sharing, 2015-2020) and "Philadelphia Signs Project" (2015-ongoing) with University of Penn's Jami Fisher and Meredith Tamminga. I am actively mangaging the ASL Signbank for SLAAASh which is directly linked to ELAN. I'm also involved in initial efforts towards creating documentation for ASL at Gallaudet (GUDA). In the fall of 2019, I started work on a three-year project with Co-PIs, Paul Dudis, Emily Shaw and Miako Villanueva, called "Motivated Look at Indicating Verbs in ASL" (MoLo for short) which is a corpus-based project. During the fall of 2021, I was lucky to work with an incredible group of students on O5S5: Documenting the experiences of the ASL communities in the time of COVID-19. More information about my work available here:

I'm on Twitter. I also love taking photos too, and sometimes videos. I also manage the Instagram and Twitter accounts for ASL Signbank along with the Instagram and Twitter accounts for the Linguistics Department. 

Currently Teaching

LIN-571 Field Methods Credits: 4
LIN-595 Special Topics Credits: 1-3
LIN-731 Phonology II Credits: 3
LIN-799 Independent Study Credits: 1-3
LIN-880 Guided Research Project Credits: 3
LIN-900 Dissertation Research Credits: 1-9

Contact Me

Julie Hochgesang

Varies by semester and are posted on office door. Otherwise by appointment.

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