I've recently gotten several e-mails from people interested in graduate programs in Deaf Studies or Disability Studies within Anthropology. I've come up with the following list to help people narrow down their choice of schools. It's still very tentative and I would greatly appreciate feedback from people who know of other programs.
Note that for the most part I have only listed places where there are faculty active in Deaf Studies or Disability Studies. However, most of us are first generation scholars -- we received our PhDs at programs where there was nobody who focused in Deaf culture or disability. I do not think we are yet at the second generation of scholarship yet -- where people will be studying more or less in specialized programs. Thus, you should not narrow your focus to only the programs listed, but also look for programs that are strong either in your areal speciality (geographic region) or topical speciality (such as language ideology; biomedicine and social institutions; etc.). You can always ask one of the people listed below to serve as an external committee member or dissertation reader.
Deaf Studies within Anthropology
There are schools with strong deaf studies programs (Galluadet, RIT/NTID, Cal State Northridge) as well as more traditional anthropology programs. The advantage of mainstream programs is that they are usually better funded -- tuition waivers and stipends are available, for example. This list focuses more on the mainstream programs and is derived from one originally created by Leila Monaghan.
The majority of people in Deaf Studies approach it through Linguistic Anthropology. The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) has been extremely supportive and the annual meetings of the American Anthropology Association usually host at least two sessions on Deaf culture or sign languages. I'm more of an anomaly since my focus is deaf social movements and identity, and not sign linguistics per se.
At this stage, because of the paucity of scholars interested in deaf studies at doctoral programs, I would encourage students to think broadly and not limit themselves only to the programs listed here.
|Gallaudet University||In Linguistics doctoral program: Ceil Lucas, Deborah Chen Pichler, Paul Dudis, Robert Johnson, Susan Mather, and Kristin Mulrooney. See web site for more information.|
|Indiana University||Leila Monaghan (hearing)||New Zealand deaf communities. Note: in Department of Communication and Culture.|
|University of Arizona||Has tradition of supporting Deaf studies in their anthropology program.|
|UCLA||Has strong tradition of supporting Deaf studies in their linguistic anthropology program.|
|University of Texas, Austin||Elizabeth Keating (hearing)||ASL, American Deaf community, Micronesia. Web page.|
|Yale||Karen Nakamura (hearing)
||Japanese deaf communities, Japanese Sign Language, interest in American Deaf culture. Web page.|
|Nora Groce (hearing)||American deaf community, Martha's vineyard. Web page.|
Masters Programs in Deaf Studies / Anthropology
Barbara LeMaster reminds me that one other strong option is to pursue a terminal M.A. in deaf studies and then to transfer to a doctoral program in anthropology. She notes that at CalState-Long Beach, "students can go for an MA on the way to the PhD or for a terminal degree. We offer applied anthropology and applied linguistics, and students can work on sign language and broader Deaf issues. We often get students who are either not ready to pursue a PhD and want to see how they do in graduate school, or students who choose a terminal MA degree, or students who get the MA on the way to a PhD. I know there can be problems with that - some PhD granting institutions will not accept MA degrees from other universities - but this is an option for some who want to pursue Deaf studies or disability studies within anthropology. (We have students doing both in our department right now.)"
|Gallaudet University||Masters program in ASL and Deaf Studies. See web site for more information.|
|California State University Long Beach||Barbara LeMaster (hearing)||Irish Deaf communities, gender, Irish Sign Language. Web page|
Disability Studies within Anthropology
The majority of people studying disability and culture are medical anthropologists. Thanks to "M.F." for pointing me to the key scholars. See also this interesting issue of Disability Studies Quarterly on disability and anthropology. As with the list above, none of the scholars below have a visible or claimed disability (although some have children with disabilities).
|Harvard University||Arthur Kleinmann||Chronic illness, social suffering, depression, disabilities. China (PRC and Taiwan). Web page .|
|New York University||Rayna Rapp||Genetics, gender, and disability. Web page.|
|Faye Ginsberg||Reproduction, abortion, social movements. Web page.|
|Stanford||Matthew Kohrman||Disability, social institutions, China. Web page.|
|Temple University||Temple offers some undergraduate and graduate courses in Disability Studies. See program details here: http://disabilities.temple.edu/programs/ds/|
|University of California - Berkeley||Lawrence Cohen||Aging, senility, medicine, India. Web page.|
|Paul Rabinow||Biopolitics. Web page.|
|Nancy Scheper-Hughes||Medicine, psychiatry, and the body. Web page.|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||UIC offers both an MA and PhD in Disability Studies itelf. Check the faculty llist and see PhD/MA program details here: http://www.ahs.uic.edu/dhd/academics/phd.php.
Note: As far as I can tell, they are pretty rehabilitation focused and don't have anyone working in Deaf Studies or anthropology.
||Physical and psychosocial disabilities in Japan and the United States. Web page.|
|Nora Groce||Disability in the international context, HIV. Web page.|
Conclusions: Applying to Programs
Again, I would suggest that you don't limit yourself only to the programs listed but only use it as a starting point for your investigations. I would also encourage you to contact scholars at schools you are looking at. It is always helpful to both have an advocate on the admissions committee as well someone to help you decide if their school is the right place to be.
More than finding a faculty member who does work exactly like your own, you should think about finding faculty members who are interested in the same type of theoretical questions but will bring different perspectives to bear on your issue. Try to understand what would be interesting about your project to specialists outside your particular subfield. For example, if you wish to study deaf communities in the United States -- what would attract the attention of a senior faculty member who specializes linguistic anthropology in South Asia? Is there something about language ideologies or diglossia that might cause them to notice your proposal? Or if you want to study deaf schools in Beijing, what would a China sociologist find attractive? Could you link it to issues of other minority pedagogies?
One caution: junior faculty (i.e., untenured assistant professors and term associates) have a tendency to move and they are not always able to bring their graduate students with them. For that reason, it's best to choose on the basis of the entire receptivity of the program to your field of study.
Note: I have a similar list for doctoral programs in Japan Anthropology.