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Date & Time

Friday, February 19, 2016
1:00 PM


Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society



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Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

(773) 834-8936


Roots: Marie Coppola (University of Connecticut)
Imagery: Douglas Ridloff (Deaf Poet, curator of ASL SLAM, NYC)
Diversity: Joseph Hill (National Technical Institute for the Deaf)

Capturing the rapidly changing and multifaceted nature of sign language identity among its users is difficult. There are contributions from a wide spectrum of linguistic points of reference, including spoken and signed languages, as well as the gestures that accompany these languages. Each of the three panelists will offer innovative perspectives from their own work on the issue of language identity, thereby providing a lens that we can use to reflect back on a range of fields of study—literature, linguistics, psychology, to name a few. Through this exercise we want to allow participants to step outside the traditional linguistic, ethnic, and poetic subfields of sign language studies in order to discuss the “blind spots” that have remained unexplored by traditional disciplinary frameworks when speaking about sign language identity.

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A panel discussion sponsored by the Center for Gesture, Sign, and Language with support from the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, the American Sign Language (ASL) Department, Columbia College, Chicago, and the Center for Community Art Partnerships, Columbia College, Chicago.

Free and open to the public. ASL-English interpreting will be provided. Dessert and coffee and tea will be provided. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact Laura Tharsen at