Annelies Kusters

I am Annelies Kusters from Belgium. I am the PI for the project entitled ‘Deaf mobilities across international borders: visualising intersectionality and translanguaging (MobileDeaf)’ (2017-2022), funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant (€1.5 million). My academic history is the following: I first got a BA in Philosophy and a MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Leuven. My first research project was undertaken in the frame of my Ma in Anthropology, in Surinam, South-America, where I investigated Paramaribo’s urban deaf community’s meeting spaces and networks. Because of this research, my interest in Deaf Studies grew and I headed to the University of Bristol in the UK to do a MSc in Deaf Studies. For my MSc dissertation research I went to Mumbai in India, where I focused on deaf spaces in compartments for people with disabilities in the city’s suburban trains. I then started a PhD in Deaf Studies, doing research in Adamorobe, a village in Ghana where, due to the historical presence of a high incidence of hereditary deafness, both deaf and hearing people use a locally emerged sign language with each other. I investigated social relationships between the deaf and hearing inhabitants, deaf space-making, deaf sociality, discourses about the cause of deafness, language practices and language ideologies. During the last year of my PhD I moved to India, where I continued my research on the Mumbai trains. After three years in India I moved to the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany, for a position as postdoctoral researcher. I investigated multimodal languaging between deaf and hearing strangers and acquaintances in public and parochial spaces in Mumbai (such as markets, shops, streets, food joints and public transport). In this project, I investigated the discourse range of gesture-based communication, their limitations and potential in relation to the places where the interactions happen and to language ideologies regarding gesture-based communication. In 2016 I received the Jean Rouch Award (2016) from the Society for Visual Anthropology for my ethnographic film Ishaare: Gestures and signs in Mumbai, and in 2015 the Ton Vallen Award for my written work on sociolinguistic issues in Adamorobe. I currently investigate International Sign and professional mobility in the frame of the MobileDeaf project. I also work on two other projects: family language policy, together with Maartje De Meulder and Jemina Napier; and an investigation of language use in a deaf TV programme (the sitcom Small World), together with Jordan Fenlon.

CONTACT:

a.kusters@hw.ac.uk

Annelies Kusters
Heriot-Watt University
Dept. of Language & Intercultural Studies
School of Social Sciences
Henry Prais Building 2.01
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
 

FILMS:

Film Deaf spaces on Mumbai trains. Directed by Annelies Kusters. Edited by Visual Box. Produced by MPG-MMG. https://vimeo.com/172930705

Film Ishaare: Gestures and Signs in Mumbai. Directed by Annelies Kusters. Edited by Visual Box. Produced by MPG-MMG. https://vimeo.com/142245339

Film The Making of Ishaare: Gestures and Signs in Mumbai. Directed by Annelies Kusters. Edited by Visual Box. Produced by MPG-MMG. https://vimeo.com/142241532

PUBLICATIONS:

MONOGRAPH

2015                Kusters, Annelies. Deaf Space in Adamorobe: An ethnographic study in a village in Ghana. Washington, DC.: Gallaudet University Press.

EDITED VOLUMES AND SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUES

2021                Kusters, Annelies. Advances in the study of semiotic repertoires. International Journal of Multilingualism 18(2).

2020               Kusters, Annelies, Hou, Lynn. Doing Linguistic Ethnography in Signing Communities. Sign Language Studies 4.

2020               Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin. Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Mouton de Gruyter / Ishara Press.

2017                Kusters, Annelies. Special Issue: Deaf and hearing signers’ multimodal and translingual practices. Applied Linguistics Review 10.

2017                Kusters, Annelies; Spotti, Massimiliano and Swanwick, Ruth. Special Issue: Translanguaging and repertoires across signed and spoken languages: Insights from linguistic ethnographies in diverse contexts. International Journal of Multilingualism 14(3).

2017                Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje and O’Brien, Dai. Innovations in Deaf Studies: The Role of Deaf Scholars. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2015                Friedner, Michele and Kusters, Annelies It’s a small world: International deaf spaces and encounters. Washington, DC.: Gallaudet University Press.

PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES

2021                Kusters, Annelies. International Sign and American Sign Language as different types of global deaf lingua francas. Sign Language Studies 21 (4), p. 391-426. open access: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/799806/pdf 

2021     Kusters, Annelies & Fenlon, Jordan. “It is natural, really deaf signing” – Script development for fictional programmes involving sign languages. Multilingua.

2021                Kusters, Annelies. Introduction: the semiotic repertoire: distribution and evaluation of resources. International Journal of Multilingualism 18(2), p 183-189. open access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14790718.2021.1898616

2021                Moriarty, Erin & Kusters, Annelies. Deaf cosmopolitanism: Calibrating as a moral process. International Journal of Multilingualism. 18(2), p 285-302. open access: https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2021.1889561

2021                Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje & Napier, Jemina. Family language policy on holiday: Four multilingual signing and speaking families travelling together. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development open accesshttps://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2021.1890752

2020                Kusters, Annelies. Deaf Studies as a Transformed and Transformational Field: Inspirations Across Disciplines and Nations. Deaf Studies Digital Journal 5. open access: https://doi.org/10.3998/dsdj.15499139.0005.001

(2020) Kusters, Annelies; Hou, Lynn. Linguistic ethnography and sign language studies. Sign Language Studies 20: 4, 561-571. open access: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/763668 

(2020) Kusters, Annelies. The tipping point: On the use of signs from American Sign Language in International Sign. Language & Communication 75, p 51-68. open access: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271530920300562

2020 Friedner, Michele; Kusters, Annelies. Deaf Anthropology. Annual Review of Anthropology 49. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-010220-034545

2019                Kusters, Annelies & De Meulder, Maartje. Language Portraits: Investigating Embodied Multilingual and Multimodal Repertoires [65 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3), Art. 10, open access: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3239

2019                Kusters, Annelies. One Village, Two Sign Languages: Qualia, Intergenerational Relationships and the Language Ideological Assemblage in Adamorobe, Ghana. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. doi:10.1111/jola.12254

2019                Kusters, Annelies. Boarding Mumbai trains: The mutual shaping of intersectionality and mobility. Mobilities. https://rsa.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17450101.2019.1622850#.XUPvj6eZMSQ

2019     De Meulder, Maartje; Kusters, AnneliesMoriarty Harrelson, Erin; and Murray, Joseph. Describe, don’t prescribe. The practice and politics of translanguaging in the context of deaf signers. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01434632.2019.1592181

2018                Kusters, Annelies and Sahasrabudhe, Sujit. Language ideologies on the difference between gesture and sign. Language & Communication 60: 44–63.

2017                Kusters, Annelies. Editorial. Special Issue: Deaf and hearing signers’ multimodal and translingual practices. Applied Linguistics Review. 

2017                Kusters, Annelies. “Our hands must be connected”: Tactile gestures, visual gestures and writing in interactions featuring a deaf blind customer in Mumbai. Social Semiotics 27:4, 394-410, DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2017.1334386

2017                Kusters, Annelies. Gesture-based deaf-hearing customer interactions: Mumbaikars’ multimodal and metrolingual strategies. International Journal of Multilingualism 14(3), pp. 283-302

2017                Kusters, Annelies; Spotti, Max; Swanwick, Ruth and Tapio, E. Beyond languages, beyond modalities: Transforming the study of semiotic repertoires. International Journal of Multilingualism 14(3), pp. 219-232.

2017                Kusters, Annelies. When transport becomes a destination: Deaf spaces and networks on the Mumbai trains. Journal of Cultural Geography 34(2), pp. 170-193.

2017Kusters, Annelies. Autogestion and competing hierarchies: Deaf and other perspectives on diversity and the right to occupy space in the Mumbai surburban trains. Journal of Social and Cultural Geography 18(2), pp. 201-223.

2015                Kusters, Annelies. Peasants, Warriors, and the Streams. Language games and etiologies of deafness in Adamorobe, Ghana. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 29, 3, pp. 418–443.

2015                Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje; Friedner, Michele and Emery, Steve. Zu „Diversität“ und „Inklusion“: Unterschiedliche Paradigmen für die Umsetzung der Rechte von Sign Language Peoples. Das Zeichen 100, pp. 210-225.

2014                Kusters, Annelies. Deaf Sociality and the Deaf Lutheran Church in Adamorobe, Ghana. Sign Language Studies 14(4), pp. 466-487.

2014                Friedner, Michele and Kusters, Annelies. On the possibilities and limits of “DEAF DEAF SAME”: Tourism and  empowerment camps in Adamorobe (Ghana), Bangalore and Mumbai (India). Disability Studies Quarterly, 34 (3). Link

2014                Kusters, Annelies. Language ideologies in the shared signing community of Adamorobe. Language in Society 43(2), pp. 139-158.

2013                Kusters, Annelies and De Meulder, Maartje. Understanding Deafhood: In Search of its Meanings. American Annals of the Deaf 158(5): pp. 428-438.

2012                Kusters, Annelies. “The gong gong was beaten”: Adamorobe: a “deaf village” in Ghana and its marriage prohibition for deaf partners. Sustainability 4(10): pp. 2765-2784. Link

2010                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Deaf Utopias? Reviewing the Sociocultural Literature on the World’s “Martha’s Vineyard Situations”’. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp. 3-16.

2009                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Deaf on the Lifeline of Mumbai’. Sign Language Studies, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 36-68.

CHAPTERS IN EDITED VOLUMES

Forthcoming:  De Meulder, M., Napier, J. & Kusters, A. Researching family language policy in multilingual deaf-hearing families: Using autoethnographic, visual and narrative methods. In L. Wright & C. Higgins (Eds.), Diversifying family language policy: Families, methodologies, and speakers. Bloomsbury.

Forthcoming     Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje; Moriarty-Harrelson, Erin. Researching language attitudes in signing communities. In: Zipp, Lena and Kircher, Ruth. Research Methods in Language Attitudes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2021                Kusters, Annelies. Sujit: Master communicator. In: Björkman, Lisa (Ed.) Bombay Brokers (p. 391-400) Duke University Press.

2020                Kusters, Annelies. Interplays of pragmatism and language ideologies: Deaf and deafblind people’s literacy practices in gesture-based interactions.’ In: Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin. (Eds). Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Mouton de Gruyter / Ishara Press.

2020                Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin;. ‘Sign Language Ideologies: Practices and Politics.’ In: Kusters, Annelies; Green, E. Mara; Moriarty Harrelson, Erin; Snoddon, Kristin. (Eds). Sign Language Ideologies in Practice. Mouton de Gruyter / Ishara Press. open access: https://www.degruyter.com/view/book/9781501510090/10.1515/9781501510090-001.xml

2019                Hou, Lynn and Kusters, Annelies. Linguistic Ethnography of Signed Languages. Ed. Tusting, Karin. Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Ethnography. Routledge.

2017                Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje and O’Brien, Dai. ‘Innovation in Deaf Studies: Critically Mapping the Field’. In: Kusters, A., De Meulder, M.; O’Brien, D. (Eds.) Innovations in Deaf Studies: The Role of Deaf Scholars. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-56.

2017                O’Brien, Dai and Kusters, Annelies. ‘Visual methods in Deaf Studies: Using photography and filmmaking in research with deaf people.’ In: Kusters, A., De Meulder, M.; O’Brien, D. (Eds.) Innovations in Deaf Studies: The Role of Deaf Scholars. Oxford: Oxford University Press pp. 265-296.

2015                Kusters, Annelies; Toura-Jensen, Outi; Verhelst, Filip and Vestergaard, Ole “Changing the world (or not): Reflecting on interactions with the Global South during the Frontrunners program.”  In: Friedner, M. and Kusters, A. (Eds.) It’s a small world: International deaf spaces and encounters. Washington, DC.: Gallaudet University Press, pp. 249-261.

2015                Kusters, Annelies and Friedner, Michele. ““Introduction: DEAF-SAME” and difference in international deaf spaces and encounters”. In: Friedner, M. and Kusters, A. (Eds.) It’s a small world: International deaf spaces and encounters. Washington, DC.: Gallaudet University Press, pp. ix-xxix.

2015                Friedner, Michele and Kusters, Annelies. ‘Afterword: It’s a Small World?’ In: Friedner, M. and Kusters, A. (Eds.) It’s a small world: International deaf spaces and encounters. Washington, DC.: Gallaudet University Press, pp. 287-289.

2015                Kusters, Annelies. ‘To the farm again, again, and again, once and for all? Education, charitable aid and development projects for deaf people in Adamorobe, Ghana.’ In: Cooper, A. and Rashid, K. (Eds.) Citizenship, Politics, Difference: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Signed Language Communities. Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, pp. 162-185.

2014                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Deaf Gain and Shared Signing Communities.’ In: Bauman, H.-D. and Murray, J. (Eds.) Deaf Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 285-305.

2012                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Adamorobe: A demographic, sociolinguistic and sociocultural profile’. In: U. Zeshan and C. De Vos (Eds.) Sign Languages in Village Communities: Anthropological and Linguistic Insights. Sign Language Typology Series No. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton & Ishara Press, pp. 347-352.

2012                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Being a Deaf white anthropologist in Adamorobe: some ethical and methodological issues’. In: U. Zeshan and C. De Vos (Eds.) Sign Languages in Village Communities: Anthropological and Linguistic Insights. Sign Language Typology Series No. 4. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton & Ishara Press, pp. 27-52.

ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES

2016                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Signing Communities.’ In: Gertz, G. and Boudreault, P. (Eds) The Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. SAGE Reference.

2016                Boland, Arlinda; Friedner, Michele and Kusters, Annelies. ‘Deaf International Development.’ In: Gertz, G. and Boudreault, P. (Eds) The Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. SAGE Reference.

2016                Friedner, Michele; Green, Mara and Kusters, Annelies. ‘Asia, Southern: Deaf Community.’ In: Gertz, G. and Boudreault, P. (Eds) The Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. SAGE Reference.

2016                Haualand, Hilde; Kusters, Annelies and Friedner, Michele. ‘Transnationalism.’ In: Gertz, G. and Boudreault, P. (Eds) The Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. SAGE Reference.

PEER-REVIEWED WORKING PAPERS

2016                Kusters, Annelies; Sahasrabudhe, Sujit and Gopalakrishnan, Amaresh. A reflexive report on filmmaking when doing linguistic ethnography in Mumbai. MMG Working Paper WP 16-04. Göttingen: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

2015                Kusters, Annelies; De Meulder, Maartje; Friedner, Michele and Emery, Steve. ‘On “diversity” and “inclusion”: Exploring paradigms for achieving Sign Language People’s rights’. MMG Working Paper WP 15-02. Göttingen: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity 2015. Link

REVIEWS

2017                Kusters, Annelies. Review of: Hoffmann-Dilloway, E. (2016), Signing and Belonging in Nepal. Gallaudet University Press. Journal of Anthropological Research 73(3), pp 521-522.

2016                Kusters, Annelies and O’Brien, Dai. Review of: Young, A. and Temple, B. (2014) Approaches to Social Research: The Case of Deaf Studies, Oxford University Press. Qualitative Research 16(6), pp. 753-754.

2014                Kusters, Annelies. Review of film: Anja Hiddinga and Jascha Blume, ‘Ik Gebaar, Ik Leef / I Sign, I Live’, 58 minutes, 2012. Distribution: Stichting Geelproduct, Makuxi. Medicine Anthropology Theory 1 (1): 194-196. Link

2011                Kusters, Annelies. ‘Deaf and Disability Studies: Do they tango?’ Review of: Burch, S. and Kafer, A., Eds. (2010) Deaf and disability studies: Interdisciplinary perspectives, Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, Hardcover. 310 pp. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp. 555. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr005