Pioneering digital journal launched

October 28, 2009

Gallaudet's Department of ASL and Deaf Studies has announced the release of the Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ), the first peer-reviewed academic and creative arts journal in American Sign Language and English.

"We believe the launching of the DSDJ marks a milestone," said Dr. H-Dirksen Bauman, who, along with Dr. Benjamin Bahan, serves as executive editor. "Never before has the signing community had a multimedia collection of academic articles, commentary, literature, film, video, visual arts, historical footage of signed languages, and interviews, reviews and news about community events."

Housed in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, DSDJ is sponsored by the University and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. Bauman and Bahan, both ASL and Deaf studies professors, worked for years to perfect the journal's pioneering concept and harness current technology to present it. The result is an online publication with an inclusive, deaf-centered, multi-lingual format. Along with Managing Editor Melissa Malzkuhn, they look forward to sharing the project with the community. They plan to publish two issues each year.

Their larger goal is to be part of a linguistic and cultural paradigm shift.

"Our hope is to promote the development of American Sign Language and other signed languages as academic languages," said Bahan. "This journal promises to be a forum to foreground the intellectual and creative output from the signing community."

The November 4 launch took place in the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center Atrium on the Gallaudet University campus. At the celebration, the editors demonstrated the journal and made the DSDJ website public.