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[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].

Credentials: PhD

Dr. Robinson is Associate Professor of Deaf Studies. An undergraduate alumni of Gallaudet University, he is also a member of the first cohort of Deaf Studies M.A. students at Gallaudet, earning his M.A. with a concentration in deaf history in 2004. 


After Gallaudet, he earned his PhD from The Ohio State University. His PhD is in history with specialization in women/gender and sexuality, African-American, and modern U.S. history with a focus on social movements through critical race and gender lenses. His dissertation examined respectability politics and ableist rhetoric in the mainstream [white] American deaf cultural community from 1880-1956. After his Ph.D., he taught ASL and Deaf Studies for a number of years before coming to Gallaudet. His research agenda centers disability as a critical framework in relations between deaf people and signed language interpreters. His current projects include essays on crip speech as a shared site of power and oppression; the perception of sign language interpreters as performers; and the role of whiteness in shaping respectability politics in the mainstream [white] American deaf cultural community. 

He has written about the place of signed languages in the academy ( and the role of disability in language ( 

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Octavian Robinson

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