Who We Are
News & Stories
Dec 4, 2023
Dec 1, 2023
December 9, 2023
University Wide Events
No Communication Compromises
Areas of Study
Changing the world
Community & Innovation
Research Experiences & Services
Our Global Presence
Global at Home
Global Learning For All
Your Journey Starts Here
Explore Our Campus
[Image description: A white man with short brown hair and a short beard smiles at the camera. He wears a bowtie against a striped buttondown shirt].
I am an Associate Professor of Deaf Studies. An undergraduate alumni of Gallaudet University, I am also a member of the first cohort of Deaf Studies M.A. students at Gallaudet, earning my M.A. with a concentration in deaf history in 2004.
After Gallaudet, I earned my PhD from The Ohio State University in history with specializations in women/gender and sexuality, African-American, and modern U.S. history with a focus on social movements through critical race and gender lenses. My dissertation examined respectability politics and ableist rhetoric in the mainstream [white] American deaf cultural community from 1880-1956. After earning my Ph.D., I taught ASL and Deaf Studies for a number of years before coming to Gallaudet. My research agenda centers disability as a critical framework. My work encompasses linguistics, power relations, sign language interpreting, disability studies, deaf studies, history, and queer studies.
I am available for public presentations, collaborations, and other engagements. A list of previous presentations, keynotes, trainings, and workshops are available below my list of publications.
Please reach out to me if you would like copies of my publications if you are not able to access them through your library. Links are available below where possible.
PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
Henner, J. & Robinson, O. (2023b). “Unruly Bodyminds, Unsettling Languages: Imagining a Crip Linguistics Manifesto,” Journal of Critical Study of Communication and Disability. 1 (1).
Henner, J. & Robinson, O. (2023a). “Crip Linguistics Goes to School.” Languages 0 (8).
Robinson, O. (2022a). “Puppets, Jesters, Memes, and Benevolence Porn: The Spectacle of Access.” Arts and Cultural Studies Review, 3 (53).
Robinson, O. & Henner, J. (2018b). “Authentic voices, authentic encounters: Cripping the university through American Sign Language,” Disability Studies Quarterly, 38(4).
Robinson, O. (2018a). “Introduction to Deafening music: Transcending sound in musicking.” Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures.
Robinson, O.E. (2017a). “Moving toward disability justice.” Disability Studies Quarterly, 37(3).
Robinson, O.E. & Henner, J. (2017b). “The personal is political in The Deaf Mute Howls: Deaf epistemology seeks disability justice.” Disability & Society, 32(9), 1416-1436.
Robinson, O. (2016a). “Seeking that which might constitute our common humanity: Deaf studies, social justice, and the liberal arts.” Sign Language Studies, 17(1), 89-95.
Chua, M., DeMeulder, M., Geer, L., Henner, J., Hou, L., Kubus, O., O’Brien, D., & Robinson, O. (2021c). “1001 Small Victories: Deaf Academics and Impostor Syndrome,” in Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education. London, UK. Palgrave Macmillian.
Sheneman, N. & Robinson, O. (2021b). “Helpers, professional authority, and pathologized bodies: Disability in interpretation and translation,” in Translating Asymmetry- Rewriting Power edited by Esther Monzo Nebot. London, UK. John Benjamins Press.
Henner, J., & Robinson, O. (2021a). “Signs of Oppression in the Academy: The Case of Signed Languages” in Linguistic Discrimination in Higher Education, New York: NY, Routledge Press.
Robinson, O. (2016b). “In pursuit of citizenship: Campaigns against peddling in deaf America, 1880s-1950s.” In B. Greenwald and J. Murray (Eds.). In our own hands: Essays in deaf history, 1780-1970 (p. 145-166). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Robinson, O. (2010). “We are of a different class: Ableist rhetoric in deaf America, 1880-1920.” In S. Burch & A. Kafer (Eds.). Deaf and disability studies: Interdisciplinary perspectives (p. 5-21). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
Robinson, O. (2006a). “The extended family: Deaf women in organizations.” In B. Brueggemann & S. Burch (Eds.), Women and Deafness: Double Visions (p. 40-56). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.
PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP (ACADEMIC BLOGS, NEWSLETTERS, MAGAZINES)
De Meulder, M., Chua, M., Geer, L., Henner, J., Hou, L., Kubus, O., O’Brien, O., Robinson, O. (2022b). “Seven Manifestations of Impostor Syndrome for Deaf Academics.” For Acadeafic. [Blog post].
Robinson, O. & Henner, J. (2021f). “Sign Languages are Academic.” For Acadeafic. [Blog post].
Hou, L., & Robinson, O. (2020d). “Sign Languages as Disaster Entertainment.” Anthropology News website, June 19, 2020.
Robinson, O. & Henner, J. (2019). “Cash cows and useless eaters: The appeal of sign language and the inconvenience of access.” For Acadeafic [Blog post].
Robinson, O. (2017c). Defending sign language in motion: Preservation of sign language joins the National Film Registry. Society of American Sign Language, Winter 2017(8), 1-4.
Robinson, O. (2006b). Remembering the forgotten: May Martin Stafford. Gallaudet Today, (36)2. 34-35.
Schlehofer, D. & Robinson, O. (2019). “Undocumented Voices of Deaf Women Leaders: A Historical Analysis,” Documentary Videos.
Robinson, O. Ed. “Deafening Music: Transcending Sound in Muiscking,” for Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures (2018).
KEYNOTE ADDRESSES“Crip Linguistics: Quit Disordering Deaf and Disabled Children’s Languaging,” 17th Annual Eleanor M. Saffran Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience & Rehabilitation of Communication Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. September, 2023.
“Mobilizing Deaf Studies toward the Future,” Deaf Mobility Studies Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland. June 2023.
“Stewardship in American Sign Language Pedagogy.” American Sign Language Teachers Association Conference, San Diego, CA. June 2019.
“Working toward an inclusive field: rethinking pedagogy and research," Utah Valley University Deaf Studies Conference, Provo, UT. April 2018.
INVITED PANELS, PRESENTATIONS, & WORKSHOPS
“Revolutionary Acts and the Deaf President Now movement,” Wolf Center for the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. October 2023.
“Crip Linguistics for Sign Language Students,” College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. October 2023.
“Dissecting Crip Linguistics Goes to School” University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA. May 2023.
“Sensing Against the Grain: Deaf historical practices,” Heriot Watt University Deaf Studies Research Methods Sandbox, Edinburgh, Scotland. June 2022.
“The Right to be Deaf,” Northeastern University, Boston, MA. November 2020.
“Taboo Speech: Extending the Discourse,” Association of Sign Language Interpreters of the United Kingdom, Virtual Webinar, April 2023.
“The value of research in interpreter education training,” George Brown College, Toronto, Canada. April 2023.
“There’s no such thing as Hearing Fragility, Talking Linguistic Carework,” Buzz Corner by Linguabee, Virtual Webinar. March 2023.
“Intersections in Disability History,” Massachusetts Historical Society, Virtual Webinar. February 2023.
“Crip Linguistics and Linguistic and Modality Justice,” York St John University, York, England. December 2022.
“Teacher Does Not Sign Good: Language Ideologies in the Deaf Ed Classroom” ASL Roundtable. Virtual Webinar. November 2022.
“Finding the Pleasure of Public Intellectual Work,” (panel response to Sami Schalk), Professional Development Week, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. August 2022.
“Crip Linguistics and Language Policy,” University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. March 2022.
“Deaf and Disabled? Exploring the relationship between deaf people and disability,” Model Secondary School for the Deaf, Washington, DC. February 2022.
“Let us teach our sign languages! Deaf people vindicating their expertise in teaching their sign languages,” World Federation of the Deaf. Webinar panel. October, 2021.
“Crip Linguistics and Language Attitudes,” Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, September 2021.
“Valuing Deaf Input in Accessibility AI Research,” Gallaudet University AI & Sign Language symposium, Washington, DC. September 2021.
“The Personal is Historical: Creating narratives through reciprocal processes,” Deaf History Conference, Germany, Virtual Webinar. May 2021.
“Legacy of Eugenics in Deaf Discourses,” Harvard University Conference on Eugenics, Boston, MA. April 2021.
“Conducting Oral History Interviews with Deaf Subjects,” California State University at Northridge, Northridge, CA. March 2021.
“Ableist Rhetoric in the U.S. Deaf Community, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. February 2021.
“Crip Linguistics, Language Across Modalities,” University of Michigan Symposium, Virtual Webinar. February 2021.
“What is Academic ASL?: A conversation with Dr. Henner and Dr. Robinson,” Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. January 2021.
“Reflections on my work as a Deaf Historian,” Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar. December 2020.
“John Lewis: Good Trouble Film Screening,” (panel) Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar. November 2020.
“Understanding Ableism as a dynamic of Oppression,” Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar. November 2020.
“Spectacle of Signed Languages,” Emboxed Discourses, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar, October 2020.
“Presidential Debates,” (panel) Center for Deaf Democracy in America, Gallaudet University, Virtual Webinar, October 2020.
“History and Institutional Memories,” Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar. February 2020.
“Social Justice: By, For, Of People” (panel) California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA. November 2019.
“Deaf: A Loaded Term” Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. November 2018.
“Disability Justice and Critical Disability Studies” University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. October 2018.
“Deaf Lives Panel” Hamline University. Saint Paul, MN. October 2018.
“Placing U.S. Deaf History in relation to European Deaf History” Connecting Capitals Program. Washington, DC. Virtual Webinar. January 2018.
“In-Betweenity: Deconstructing the Binary and Ditching the Hierarchy of Identity” Intelligence Community LGBTQA (IC Pride) Summit. Washington, DC. June 2017.
“In-Betweenity: The encounters of identity among deaf people and their intersections,” Brown University School of Medicine Disabilities in Medicine and Spectrum LGBTQ Groups. Providence, RI. April 2017.
“Whiteness, Xenophobia, Stigma and the Battle Against Sign Language” Brown University. Providence, RI. March 2017.
“Three Degrees Apart: Being Trans* and Grappling with Deaf Cultural Norms” Brown University. Providence, RI. March 2017.
“Challenging Deaf Ideology: Is it really ‘anything except hear?’” University of Rochester. Rochester, NY. Feb. 2017.
“Social Justice and ASL Teaching for ASL Instructors” Road to Deaf Interpreting: Worcester, MA, January 2017.
“Agents of Change: Teaching ASL from a Social Justice Framework” National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester, NY. November 2016.
"The Vagabond Evil: Anti-Peddling Campaigns" Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. November 2016.
“Writing Deaf Stories: Personal Memoirs and Manuscript Recovery” (Panelist) Gallaudet University Capturing Deaf Heritage Day. Washington, DC. October 2016.
“Ableist Rhetoric in American Deaf Culture,” Gallaudet University: Washington, DC, July 2016.
“Critical Engagements: Bridging Deaf and Disability Studies.” University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, PA. March 2016.
“Ableist Rhetoric at the turn of the Twentieth Century” Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT. January 2016.
“The Deaf Do Not Beg” Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf Conference, Framingham, MA. November 2015.
“A Retrospect on Collective Action for Change” Boston University School of Education Deaf Studies Lecture Series, Boston, MA. February 2015.
“Deaf People Do Not Beg: The Quest for Citizenship” Celebrating 150 Years of Visionary Leadership Symposium: Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. April 2014.
“25 years of A Place of Their Own: Creating a Deaf Community in America Panel” (panelist) Deaf President Now Lecture Series: Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. March 2013.
“Deaf Women and Their Campaign for Higher Education” Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. October 2011.
“The State of the Field: Deaf History” Organization of American Historians Conference. Seattle, WA. January 2009.
“Anti-Peddling Campaigns and Political Citizenship in Deaf America, 1880-1950s” The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. March 2008.
“Uncovering Bodies: Gender and Deaf Identity in America” 150 Years on Kendall Green: Celebrating Deaf History and Gallaudet Conference: Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. April 2007.
“Through Deaf Eyes Panel” 150 Years on Kendall Green: Celebrating Deaf History and Gallaudet Conference: Gallaudet University, Washington, DC. April 2007.
REFEREED TALKS, PRESENTATIONS, & PANELS
“Embracing Babel: Interpreting Deaf Studies through Queer Theory,” International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference, Vienna, Austria. September 2023.
“Cripping the Archive through Language,” Big Berks Conference, May 2023 (withdrawn).
“Disuttering Expletives: taboo speech in signed language interpreting,” European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, September 2022.
“Access to and Access Through Sign Language: A panel in honor of Leila Monaghan’s Scholarship and Activism,” Society for Linguistic Anthropology, March 2022.
“Should We Take Matters into Our Own Hands? That is the Question,” European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, Virtual Conference. September 2021.
“Gender and Historical Memory in Deaf Protests,” International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference, Montreal, Canada, June 2021.
“Sociolinguistic Justice in Higher Education: A Panel on Research and Remedies,” Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Virtual Summit on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, May 2021.
"Disability and Covid-19: A Roundtable,” Organization of American Historians, Virtual Conference, April 2021.
“Puppets, Jesters, and Memes: The Spectacle of Access,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, online conference. March 2021.
“Making Words and Actions Matter: Epistemic Justice and Interpreting.” (with N. Sheneman). Washington Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf-Washington State Association of the Deaf Conference, Seattle, WA. October 2019.
“Deaf Exceptionalism: How social-cultural discourses shape our signed language interpretation work” European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Conference, Malmo, Sweden. September 2019.
“Fika in Sign Language Interpreting Profession: Making Time for Deaf People” (with N. Sheneman) European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Conference: Malmo, Sweden, September 2019.
“Toxic ableism among signed language interpreters: Impeding Deaf people’s linguistic rights through pathological posturing” (with N. Sheneman) World Association of Sign Language Interpreters 2019 Conference, Paris, France. July 2019.
“Treasuring our Roots: Centering Deaf Epistemologies in the Sign Language Interpreting Profession” (with N. Sheneman) World Association of Sign Language Interpreters 2019 Conference, Paris, France. July 2019.
“Can critical disability studies benefit research into deaf people’s everyday experience?” (with H. Haualand & M. Lindsay), International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland. May 2019.
“Navigating Imposter Syndrome for Deaf Academics,” (with D. O’ Brien) International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland. May 2019.
“Ableism and the Academy” Organization of American Historians Conference, Philadelphia, PA. April 2019.
“Historical Constructions of Deafness as Identity in the United States” Criptic Identities Conference: Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands. March 2019.
“Gender and Historical Memory in the Deaf President Now Movement,” American Historical Association conference, Chicago, IL. January 2019.
“Intersectionality, the Latest Buzzword: What it Means to Teach Power and Privilege in ASL and Interpreter Education Programs” (with N. Sheneman) Conference of Interpreter Trainers Conference, Salt Lake City, UT. November 2018.
“Frameworks and Methods in Deaf Studies: An Organic Approach to Deafening Disciplinary Research” (with N. Sheneman) 10th Deaf History International Conference, Sydney, Australia. July 2018.
“False Goodwill: Muting the Deaf Voice in Access” (with N. Sheneman) Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI. October 2017.
“No Room for Ego: Sign Language and Interpreting Is For Equity Not Entertainment” (with N. Sheneman) (poster presentation) Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity: Honolulu, HI, October 2017.
“Emerging Deaf Historians: Researching, Writing, and Reinterpreting Deaf History” (with W. Ennis, B. Greenwald & J. Murray), International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark. August 2017.
“Beyond Observation: Service Learning and Community Involvement for American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Students” (with A. Veith), American Sign Language Teachers Association Conference. Salt Lake City, UT. June 2017.
“The Social Justice Framework in Teaching ASL and Deaf Studies: Benefits and Applications” American Sign Language Teachers Association Conference. Salt Lake City, UT. June 2017.
“Respectability Politics in American Deaf Cultural History: Campaigns Against Deaf Peddlers During the Late Nineteenth until the mid-Twentieth Century,” International Conference on Disability as Spectacle, University of California Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. April 2017.
“Sign Language Interpreters: For Show or For Access?” (Panelist and Moderator), International Conference on Disability as Spectacle, University of California Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. April 2017.
“Agents of Change: Civic Engagement, Critical Disability Studies, and Social Justice” Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity. Honolulu, HI. April 2016.
“Ousting Deaf Tramps: Regulating Deaf Bodies in the Public Sphere, 1880-1950s”, International Conference on Deaf Geographies. Rochester, NY. June 2016.
“The Humanities Meets the Sciences: Deaf Epistemologies and Language in the Nineteenth Century” New England Sign Language Festival. Boston, MA. March 2016.
“Assessing Disability Rights: Perspectives on Activism, Schism, Public History, and International Law” Organization of American Historians Conference, St. Louis, MO. April 2015.
“The Role of Anti-peddling campaigns in the American Deaf Community’s Quest for Citizenship,” International Deaf Academics and Researchers Conference: Leuven, Belgium. February 2015.
“Deaf Women and Organizational Activism” Society for Disability Studies Conference, Seattle, WA. June 2007.
“Expressing Themselves: From Merging Identities to Setting Individuality” Society for Disability Studies Conference, Washington, DC. June 2006.
WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS DIRECTED
DrDeaf Writing Retreat, DrDeaf Workshop Series, Al Folkehogskole og kurssenter for dove, Al, Norway. December 2022.
“Conducting Oral History Interviews with Deaf Subjects,” California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA. March 2021.
“Honey, It’s not About You: White Fragility,” Three part series. Sacramento Valley Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Virtual Workshop. July, August, and September 2020.
“A Rainbow of Perspectives: Working with Deaf LGBTQIA Individuals,” American Sign Language Interpreting Services, funded by the State of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. July 2020.
“In-betweenity: understanding LGBTQIA issues in signed language interpreting,” American Sign Language Interpreting Services, funded by the State of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. June 2020.
“Access with Aloha: Puliki Lokahi” (with N. Sheneman) Hawaii Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Honolulu, HI. October 2019.
“Ableism and Inclusive Excellence” (with J. Small) Teaching and Learning Network: St. Catherine University, Saint Paul, MN. January 2019.
“Words Carry Weight: Discursive Violence Toward Deaf People in Interpreting” (with N. Sheneman) Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Fall Conference: Breezy Point, MN. October 2018.
“Power and Privilege in Interpreting, Part 2” (with N. Sheneman) Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Worcester, MA. June 2017.
“Teaching From a Social Justice Framework: Why and How” (with H.A. Mayhew) (training for program administrators), Northeastern University Regional Interpreter Education Center, Ashland, MA. September 2016.
“Power and Privilege: Social Justice in Sign Language Interpreting,” (with N. Snell) Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Worcester, MA. June 2016.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Copyright © 2023 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.
800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002