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Jane K. Fernandes, Ph.D.

Personal Info
Photo of Jane Kelleher Fernandes
Speaker Bio: 

Jane Kelleher Fernandes joined UNC Asheville as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in July 2008. As an academic leader and educator of national prominence, her life's work—creating inclusive academic excellence in education at all levels—has taken her from Hawaii to the Atlantic seaboard. She earned a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa. Her undergraduate degree is in French and Comparative Literature from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. Her scholarship and service have been dedicated to fostering bilingual American Sign Language-English literacy in all deaf students, promoting interdisciplinary teaching and learning practices, and advocating for racial justice. She fosters the development of inclusive schools of racial justice where every student, regardless of circumstances, is welcome and educated respectfully to the maximum positive outcome. In addition to her position as Provost, Dr. Fernandes is a tenured professor of education at UNC Asheville and serves as a Senior Fellow with the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute, founded at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

Presentation Info

Inclusive Deaf Studies: Barriers and Pathways
April 7, 2011, 7:00pm
Student Development Center (Bldg. 55), Rm. 1300/1310

Presentation Abstract:
The presentation will focus on the need for new scholarly directions in Deaf Studies and will outline ways to expand the field. Currently, American Deaf Studies continues the focus of founding scholarship on native White American Sign Language users. This has privileged information and knowledge about this group of people at the expense of scholarship and knowledge about deaf people with different language backgrounds, races or ethnicities and other diverse attributes. The presentation will discuss the development of an interdisciplinary lens to research and understand the many ways deaf people live. The continued marginalization of academic study of less privileged people within the deaf community will impede knowledge and render Deaf Studies unsustainable as an academic field. The presentation will recommend that Deaf Studies scholars embrace a more expansive, nuanced, and interdisciplinary approach that encompasses the full variety of deaf lives and identities.

Recommended advance readings:
Fernandes, J. & S. Myers. (2010). “Inclusive Deaf Studies: Barriers and Pathways.” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 15(1): 17-29.

Myers, S. & Fernandes, J. (2010). “Deaf Studies: A Critique of the Predominant U.S. Theoretical Direction.” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 15(1): 30-49.