In Search of Liberating Discourse

Final Project for INTP 5250: Language and Power

by Jennifer Gibbons, Jolanta Galloway, and Doug Bowen-Bailey

Dr. Octavian Robinson
St. Catherine University

The Complete Video

An Explanation of this Page

This is an example of how the finished video might be published that keeps ASL as the primary language, divides up the longer video into shorter segments that are more suited to online delivery, and also provides visual description that makes the video accessible for people who are DeafBlind or who use screen readers.

The introduction is produced with full accessibility to give the sense of what would be done upon publication. Before investing time in that, we want to get input on the project from a wider range of sources and have time for revisions.

Introducing Our Journey

Introducing Our Journey

[Visual Description: In opening scene, Doug Bowen-Bailey, a white man with brown hair and glasses wearing a black shirt stands and signs in front of a dark grey backdrop.  On the screen are the words:  In Search of Liberating Discourse.”]

English Translation of ASL Source:

Welcome to our journey in search of liberating discourse.   As students in the MA of Interpreting Studies and Communication Equity (MAISCE) at St. Catherine University, the authors are seeking to determine how equity shows up in the graduate school experience.  The first image that we saw in our program illustrated the difference between the three concepts of equality, equity and liberation.  [Visual description:  On screen, there is a a picture of three youth of different heights attempting to watch a baseball game. In the first frame labeled “Equality,” all three are standing on a box.  The tall youth is able to see very well over a fence.  The medium height youth is able to just see over the fence.  The short youth is looking directly into the fence.  In the second frame, “Equity,” the tall youth does not have a box and is able to see over the fence.  The medium-height youth has one box and is able to see.  The short youth has two boxes and is now able to see over the fence.  In the third frame, there is no fence and it is labeled “liberation.”]

Our journey as students and emerging scholars includes attempting to unpack what the concepts of equality, equity, and liberation mean in our own experience, in the MAISCE program, and within the system of academia more broadly.  We invite you to come with us on our journey of discovery to see what type of discourse can provide the foundation for liberation.

[Visual Description:  In the second scene, Jolanta Galloway stands on the left side of the screen and Jennifer Gibbons stands on the right side in from of the same dark grey backdrop.  Jolanta appears as a white woman black-framed horned-rimmed glasses and a black shirt, sweater, with her brown hair up in a bun.  Jen appears as a white woman with short brown hair with yellow highlights.  She wears a black blazer and shirt and also wears black-framed glasses.  Jen signs first and is in color and Jolanta is black and white.]

Jen:  In deciding to join the MAISCE program, we had vision of language parity between ASL and English.  When we discovered that we also had a cohort member who was Deaf, it was exciting to think of the insight and understanding, as well as language use, that  this person could bring.  Subsequently, the withdrawal of this person from the cohort was disorienting for us and raised many questions for us.

[Visual Description: As Jolanta starts signing, her image becomes colored, and Jen becomes a black and white image looking at Jolanta.]

Jolanta:  This event truly was disrupting for all of the authors and led us to decide that our academic pursuit should include looking at what language barriers might exist in the MAISCE program and more generally in academia.

Our Position as Emerging Scholars


This is a place for visual description and summary for access for people who don’t sign.

Language Use in a Graduate School Program

Language Use

This is a place for visual description and summary for access for people who don’t sign.

Considering Academic Discourse

Academic Discourse

This is a place for visual description and summary for access for people who don’t sign.

Limitations to Definitions of Academic ASL

Holding Space for Liberating Discourse



Gratitude to our Deaf cohort member for inspiration and insight and the rest of our cohort who helped keep us on this journey.

Thank you to those who guided and encouraged this project.

  • Dr. Octavian Robinson
  • Dr. Joseph Hill
  • Najma Johnson
  • Dr. Laurene Simms
  • Dr. Raychelle Harris
  • Felicia Williams
  • Paula Gajewski-Mickelson
  • Dr. Erica Alley


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