Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)

Languages and Lives in Deaf Communities

Joseph Hill

Ausserordentlicher Professor an der Rochester Institute of Technology (USA)

Abteilung für Amerikanische Gebärdensprache und Dolmetscherbildung

Joseph Hill ist ausserordentlicher Professor in der Abteilung für Amerikanische Gebärdensprache und Dolmetscherbildung an dem Rochester Institute of Technology (USA). Er ist Experte für Sprache und Kultur in gehörlosen afroamerikanischen Gemeinschaften und für die Einstellung zur Variabilität von Gebärdensprachen.


Black ASL: Racism and Audism as the Origins of Variation

The Linguistic Society of America has recognized its role in reproducing racism in the field of linguistics and developed several aims to address this deep-rooted problem: “to address inequality in linguistics, to inform research on language and race and its intersections, to help empower and welcome people from various racial backgrounds into linguistics, and to broaden the conversation on race so that future work can best promote diversity and inclusion” (LSA 2019 statement). It is also important to recognize that racism is interconnected with the different systems of oppression including but not limited to sexism, classism, and ableism. The case of Black American Sign Language, Black ASL for short, will be used to discuss how the intersection of racism and audism (a form of ableism based on hearing ability) defines the U.S. educational, political, and cultural pressures on the formation and maintenance of Black ASL as a language variety from 1860s to present and limits the availability of resources to study the structural and socio-cultural contexts of Black ASL.