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OLD 2016 - Deaf Studies

Why Deaf Studies?

This two-part course is taught in International Sign with interpretation to English.

The course in Deaf Studies consists of two independent one-week courses. The first part (week 1) provides a global overview of Deaf Studies, taught by Annelies Kusters, social anthropologist working in Göttingen, Germany. The second part consist sof a more specialized course in Deaf Bilingualism, taught by Krister Schönström, International Sign linguist from Stockholm University.


Deaf Studies Around the World

Teacher: Annelies Kusters, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany.

In this course, the students will be introduced in the discipline of Deaf Studies. Central in this overview is an exploration of themes that have been investigated and a critical examination of the theoretical frameworks and concepts that have been used (such as Deaf culture/community/identity/space/networks/sociality, Deafhood, Deaf Gain). The students also will gain insight in the discipline’s different “waves”. While the first wave of Deaf Studies persistently tried to identify and define “deaf community”, “deaf culture” or “deaf identity” as clearly delineated units, themes explored by researchers in the second wave are “deaf epistemologies” and “deaf ontologies”, in which the embodiment as a deaf person is central. The third wave of Deaf Studies builds upon and extends the second wave’s research by arguing that this embodiment is central not only in the study of the research participants’ experiences but also in terms of the researchers’ positionalities and their relationships with deaf research participants and deaf communities. Decidedly, research in the third wave is also more global in focus. This overview will establish the framework for the remainder of the course in which recent ethnographic research will be discussed, covering all geographic areas and all kinds of deaf spaces including Europe, USA, South-America, Africa, and Asia; urban and rural locations; deaf schools and organisations; temporary deaf spaces such as in pubs and public transport, deaf events and tourism. Throughout the whole course, ethnographic and visual research methods in Deaf Studies will be discussed as well.


Deaf Bilingualism

Teacher: Krister Schönström, Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University.

This second part of the course will look at some key topics associated with bilingualism in the deaf. General topics from the research in bilingualism and second language acquisition will be combined with topics from the research in deaf bilingualism. The course will specifically include issues related to the acquisition of signed and written/spoken languages. The course will also discuss issues in bilingual deaf education and deaf bilingualism from a societal point of view.

Course description

Find full course description in the course catalogue

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Revised 09.02.2016