Annelies Kusters

Annelies Kusters
Heriot-Watt University · Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

PhD

About

60
Publications
35,523
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Introduction
Annelies Kusters currently works at the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Heriot-Watt University.
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - January 2012
University of Bristol
Position
  • MSc student, PhD researcher

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Deaf anthropology is a field that exists in conversation with but is not re-ducible to the interdisciplinary field of deaf studies. Deaf anthropology is predicated upon a commitment to understanding deafnesses across time and space while holding on to "deaf" as a category that does something socially, politically, morally, and methodologically. In...
Article
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This paper approaches International Sign (IS) as both a translingual practice and a contact language which is subject to language contact with American Sign Language (ASL). The perceived overuse of ASL in IS is often judged as counterproductive for IS to flourish independently from ASL. The desire for IS and ASL to be sufficiently different leads t...
Article
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Cosmopolitanism theory was mostly developed separately from the study of multilingualism: while language is central to cosmopolitanism as a practice, only a few scholars focusing on cosmopolitanism have taken a language-centred approach. We further theorise the relationship between cosmopolitanism and translingual practice with our focus on moralit...
Article
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Most FLP research focuses on intrafamily communication (1FLP) and how this is impacted by larger contexts. But what happens when different multilingual families interact intensively on a daily basis? This article analyses language use during a holiday in India in and between four deaf-hearing befriended families, and how this evolved over the twelv...
Chapter
Attitudes towards spoken, signed, and written language are of significant interest to researchers in sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, communication studies, and social psychology. This is the first interdisciplinary guide to traditional and cutting-edge methods for the investigation of language attitudes. Written by experts in the field, it p...
Article
The sociolinguistics of sign languages parallels as well as complements the sociolinguistics of spoken languages. All of the key areas of sociolinguistics, such as multilingualism, language contact, variation, and language attitudes—are of immediate relevance to sign languages. At the same time, sign language researchers using a range of data sourc...
Article
Full-text available
Deaf anthropology is a field that exists in conversation with but is not reducible to the interdisciplinary field of deaf studies. Deaf anthropology is predicated upon a commitment to understanding deafnesses across time and space while holding on to “deaf” as a category that does something socially, politically, morally, and methodologically. In d...
Chapter
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Linguistic ethnography and sign languages
Article
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“Adamorobe signing is sweet,” “The signing in Adamorobe is hard,” “Adamorobe’s deaf people should sign in an eye‐hard way.” These are discourses about signing in Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL), a sign language used in Adamorobe, an Akan farmer village in southern Ghana distinguished by a history of hereditary deafness. By calling AdaSL sweet, hard...
Article
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This article analyses how intersectionality and mobility shape each other in the case of deaf women who board the Mumbai suburban trains, which have separate compartments reserved for women and for people with disabilities. These compartments being adjacent, deaf women often make last-minute decisions where to board, and even happen to switch compa...
Article
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In this article we discuss the practice and politics of translanguaging in the context of deaf signers. Applying the translanguaging concept to deaf signers brings a different perspective by focusing on sensorial accessibility. While the sensory orientations of deaf people are at the heart of their translanguaging practices, sensory asymmetries are...
Article
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In this article, we discuss the use of language portraits (LP) as a research method to investigate the embodied multilingual repertoires of people who use both spoken and signed languages. Our discussion is based on two studies in which most participants were deaf (one study also included hearing participants). We primarily offer a methodological c...
Article
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This article is based on the analysis of customer interactions of Pradip, a deafblind man, with street sellers and shopkeepers in Mumbai. Pradip made use of visible and tactile gesturing including pointing at and tapping on objects (to indicate them), using emblematic gestures, and tracing the shape of objects on the hand. The fact that the sensory...
Article
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This paper presents a critical examination of key concepts in the study of (signed and spoken) language and multimodality. It shows how shifts in conceptual understandings of language use, moving from bilingualism to multilingualism and (trans)languaging, have resulted in the revitalisation of the concept of language repertoires. We discuss key ass...
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This article considers dense social interactions in commuter trains and their crucial role within city-wide networks. Literature on social interactions in public transport has focused on how commuters have short interactions with each other, or constitute groups of train friends, but without situating them in wider geographies. The article focuses...
Article
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The article furthers the study of urban multilingual (i.e. metrolingual) practices, in particular the study of customer interactions, by a focus on the use of gestures in these practices. The article focuses on fluent deaf signers and hearing non-signers in Mumbai who use gestures to communicate with each other, often combined with mouthing, speaki...
Chapter
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In this introductory chapter, the editors critically map the field of Deaf Studies. Central in this discussion is an exploration of themes that have been investigated in the field and a critical examination of the theoretical frameworks and concepts that have been used including the deaf culture concept and the d/D writing convention. The editors t...
Book
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What does it mean to engage in Deaf Studies and who gets to define the field? What would a truly deaf-led Deaf Studies research program look like? What are the research practices of deaf scholars in Deaf Studies, and how do they relate to deaf research participants and communities? What innovations do deaf scholars deem necessary in the field of De...
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This chapter discusses the importance of using visual methods in the field of Deaf Studies, and suggests and evaluates different pathways to utilise these methods. It argues that when using visual research methods, researchers not only respect the use of sign languages, but also provide ways to deepen the understanding of the uniquely visual deaf e...
Article
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This article o ers a detailed ethnographic account of how people appropriate available space in compartments for disabled people in the Mumbai suburban trains, make it their own and monitor it, in the context of a succession of recent spatial changes. These compartments have increased in size over the years, and subsequently, the body of travellers...
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This chapter is based upon a conversation with Outi Toura-Jensen, Filip Verhelst, and Ole Vestergaard, deaf teachers in the well-known and influential Denmark- based Frontrunners program (http://frontrunners.dk), an international deaf youth leadership training program (though its focus has recently changed and it is now a deaf international educati...
Chapter
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Adamorobe is a village in South-Ghana with a population of about 3500 people, whereof 41 are deaf. This high rate of deafness is hereditary and resulted in the spontaneous development of a local sign language that is used by both deaf and hearing people on an everyday basis. During the past decennia there have been several attempts to formally educ...
Article
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A relatively high number of deaf people is indigenous to Adamorobe in Ghana. I collected a wide array of explanations for its high prevalence of deafness. Inspired by Wittgenstein, I frame these explanations as being produced during language games, and bearing family resemblances. Different explanations of deafness appear in different language game...
Book
Shared signing communities consist of a relatively high number of hereditarily deaf people living together with hearing people in relative isolation. In the United States, Martha’s Vineyard gained mythical fame as a paradise for deaf people where everyone signed up until the 19th century. That community disappeared when deaf people left the island,...
Article
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Die Konzepte „Diversität“ und „Inklusion“ werden im Hinblick auf ihre Verwendung in Bezug auf taube Menschen untersucht, die wir als Sign Language Peoples (SLPs) bezeichnen, insbesondere im politischen Diskurs (wie beim Weltverband der Gehörlosen oder in der UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention (BRK)) und dem akademischen Diskurs (insbesondere...
Chapter
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This is the introduction to the book "It's a Small World: International Deaf Spaces and Encounters". We start this introductory chapter with an analysis and discussion of the different kinds of international deaf spaces. In doing so, we argue for the importance and timeliness of this book. We discuss previous writing in Deaf Studies that analyzed i...
Chapter
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This is the intro to the book "Deaf Space in Adamorobe: An Ethnographic Study in a Village in Ghana"
Article
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The documentary I Sign, I Live, directed by Anja Hiddinga and Jascha Blume has won several prizes and was screened at ethnographic, disability and deaf film festivals. The film opens with clips of a small, deaf, Dutch boy receiving speech training at different moments in his childhood. This boy is Jascha Blume, now a rebellious young man in his twe...
Article
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This article provides an ethnographic analysis of “deaf sociality” in Adamorobe, a village in Ghana, where the relatively high prevalence of hereditary deafness has led to dense social and spatial connections. Deaf people are part of their hearing environment particularly through family networks, and produce deaf sociality through many informal int...
Article
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This article qualitatively analyzes the ways that the discourse of "deaf universalism" circulates within two common deaf practices: tourism and engaging in interventions. Arguing that the largely Northern-situated discipline of Deaf Studies does not adequately examine how deaf bodies and discourses travel, ethnographic data compiled in India and Gh...
Article
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This article analyzes language ideologies with regard to sign language in Adamorobe, a "shared signing community" in southern Ghana. Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) is a "shared sign language," used by all deaf people and a large number of hearing Akan-speaking people. Deaf schoolchildren from Adamorobe attend a school where Ghanaian Sign Language...
Chapter
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In this chapter, I discuss shared signing communities such as Martha's Vineyard and Adamorobe in the light of their contribution to human diversity and diversity between human communities—and thus to Deaf Gain. I fluctuate between descriptions of internal and external perspectives, the former being the perspectives and practices of the inhabitants...
Article
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The authors argue that Deafhood (a term coined by Dr. Paddy Ladd) is an open-ended concept with an essentialist core. They describe how deaf people who have attended their Deafhood lectures and workshops have perceived different aspects of the Deafhood concept, and compare the basic tenets of Deafhood and criticisms on Deafhood to theories and crit...
Article
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Adamorobe is a village in Ghana where the historical presence of a hereditary form of deafness resulted in a high number of deaf inhabitants. Over the centuries, a local sign language emerged, which is used between deaf and hearing people in everyday life, rendering Adamorobe into a unique place of inclusion of deaf people. However, in 1975, a law...
Chapter
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Adamorobe is a village located in Ghana, 40 km from its capital Accra, in a valley east of the Akwapim Ridge. Its founders are Akwamu Akan speaking Southern Akwapim Twi. Although there is an increasing number of detached houses, the village mostly consists of brick or clay houses in a traditional compound structure: rooms built around an inner cour...
Article
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Martha's Vineyard-an island off the East Coast of the United States-is known as a community where "everyone signed" for several hundred years, a utopia in the eyes of many Deaf people. Currently, there exist around the world a number of small similar "shared signing communities," for example, in Mexico, Bali, Israel, and Ghana. A few studies about...
Article
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This article is a result of my MSc Deaf Studies dissertation that is situated on an intersection between Deaf geography, anthropology and Deafhood theory. During five weeks of participatory observation and interviews in Mumbai, my attention was drawn to the city's lifeline: the suburban train system. It appeared that Deaf people tend to travel in s...

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Projects

Projects (9)
Project
This project examines the daily life interactions between deaf and hearing people to identify ways in which people with different visual / gestural and auditory / oral experience of language communicate and understand each other. It is funded by the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (2017/2018).
Project
- deaf-hearing gesture-based interactions in public space in Mumbai - language ideologies on gesture and sign