Gallaudet University Press

Interview with the Editor

David F. Armstrong
Editor, Sign Language Studies
Author, Original Signs

GUPress: GUPress brought Sign Language Studies (SLS) back into print after it had ceased publication for a few years, with you as editor. Did you make any changes in the scope of the journal before starting to publish it again?

Dr. Armstrong: I felt that SLS could fill a niche as a journal dedicated to publishing articles that would appeal to a broad audience of people interested in signed languages, deaf communities, and deaf studies generally. When Bill Stokoe created the journal back in 1972, it was really the only place where researchers could publish linguistic studies of ASL and other signed languages. Bill started it to help establish the legitimacy of these languages in both the scholarly and educational communities. It is now possible to publish technical linguistic studies of signed languages in many other journals, but interest in all aspects of deaf communities, including their histories and literatures has been expanding exponentially.

GUPress: What are some of the new areas of study that subscribers can look forward to reading about in SLS?

Dr. Armstrong: We have already published a special section on the poetics of signed languages, and there are more articles forthcoming on literary uses of ASL and the history of the language. In addition, I have been receiving quite a few manuscripts on the histories of various deaf communities. I should also mention that we have an upcoming special issue on sign language dictionaries that will be published in two parts in the spring and summer of this year.

GUPress: Sign Language Studies continues to offer a steady diet of research on various facets of signed languages and the communities that use them. Are there other disciplines that would profit from the findings published in SLS?

Dr. Armstrong: I think that SLS will be of interest to anthropologists and historians interested in deaf communities and in disability studies in general, and I think it will continue to appeal to linguists, as it has in the past. But perhaps the largest new audience will be literary scholars who are interested in both the written and performance based literatures of deaf communities.

Do you have questions for Dr. Armstrong? Address them to gupress@gallaudet.edu with Questions for Dr. Armstrong as your subject. We'll answer a selection of them in the March newsletter.

5:2 Friday, February 21, 2003

Excuse me. Could you repeat that, please?

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Reviewer’s Bookwatch, the online magazine published by The Midwest Book Review, praises Turn-Taking, Fingerspelling, and Contact in Signed Languages in its January 2003 issue stating: “The ten contributors bring to their work an expertise in their subject matter and an ability to present their material with a careful balance of scholarship and accessibility.” The reviewer goes on to say: “[It] is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to Signing and Sign Language academic reference collections and supplemental reading lists.” Read the full review and order Turn-Taking.

Benjamin S. Wilfond has been added to the program of the “Genetics, Disability, and Deafness” conference to be held April 2-4, 2003. Dr. Wilfond, Head, Bioethics Research Center, and Associate Investigator, Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute will be speaking about bioethics and genetics. To secure your reservation, go to http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/gupiconference/index.html.

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