Deaf studies is about diving into the complex lives lived by deaf people themselves, re-balancing the power positions between the deaf minority and hearing majority and understanding the complexity of the ‘deaf identity’ concept. Deaf studies is under a transformation process: deaf schools are disappearing, club and association activity declining in the western countries, technology and social media has came to stay and transform our existence, connections and communication. The underrepresented groups within the deaf communities are raising their voices and discussing the concept of intersectionality. Deaf communities, deaf spaces, ontologies, epistemologies, sign linguistics, language practices, ideologies, history, education, arts and literature are currently relevant topics.
Deaf art and its different appearances will become familiar to you and your family and you learn to differentiate between different genres in sign language literature. Sign language literature as stories, poetry, dramatic productions, folk tales, songs and deaf-led media are part of this teaching topic.
You get acquainted with the early Western deaf history including the most important milestones, key persons and relevant literature. You are also introduced to the principles of researching and discovering the national deaf history and you will understand why it is important to know your own minority history.
You will be introduced to basic knowledge about Western Early Deaf Education history with links to Deaf education in Africa and India, and you get acquainted with the basic definitions like inclusion, segregation, integration and deaf resilience. You will also learn to understand the link between sociopolitics of majority and minority education.
Bilingualism, multilingualism and translanguaging
You learn about bilingualism, multilingualism, translanguaging and bi – multilingual education. You are also introduced to individual and societal concepts in minority and majority languages, childhood developmental perspectives and political/ideological perspectives. You will also discuss linguistic diversity in terms of ensuring social justice and equal education opportunities for deaf children.
Linguistics and sign linguistics
You are introduced to the first recognition of signed languages as signed languages as real languages and their place within modern linguistics. The definition principles of language(s) and linguistics and introduction to the field of linguistics and its major area of investigation. Sign Language History from 1960 to today and introduction to the general principles behind linguistics and sign linguistics are also relevant topics to teach and learn.