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Dissertation defense for Laurie Shaffer

  • Date: November 16, 2018
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Location: Hall Memorial Building (HMB), Room 1002 A/B

To:      Students, Faculty and Staff

From:  Gaurav Mathur, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School

Re:       Dissertation Defense for Laurie Shaffer 

It is my pleasure to announce that Laurie R. Shaffer, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Interpretation and Translation, will defend her dissertation, “In-Between: The Social Organization of American Sign Language-English Interpreters in the Medical Context” on Friday, November 16, at 10:00 a.m. in Hall Memorial Building, Room 1002 A/B.  The first forty minutes of the dissertation defense are open to the Gallaudet community.

Ms. Shaffer’s dissertation examines the everyday work of American Sign Language-English interpreters in healthcare environments.  Most studies of interpreting examine what interpreters do when actively interpreting, yet for the working interpreter, there are times when she is not interpreting but instead is ‘in-between.’ The in-between provides an entry point for this institutional ethnographic project, which illustrates how the work is socially organized, how the local moment is orchestrated by institutions of power and how interpreters’ local actions perpetuate or resist the pull of various institutional forces.

The members of Ms. Shaffer’s dissertation committee are Dr. Steven Collins, Department of Interpretation and Translation, co-chair of the dissertation committee; Dr. Cynthia Roy, Department of Interpretation and Translation (retired), co-chair of the dissertation committee; Dr. Emily Shaw, Department of Interpretation and Translation; Dr. Jeremy Brunson, Trial Courts of Arizona and Arizona State University; Dr. Shilpa Hanumantha Lacy, American Sign Language Program, University of Virginia; and Dr. Claudia V. Angelelli, Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Heriot-Watt University.

Ms. Shaffer entered the Ph.D. Program in Interpretation in 2013 and she has been recognized as a President’s Scholar for three consecutive years.  Her research examines larger social systems and their impact on the work of interpreters and on members of the deaf community. She has been a practicing interpreter for 29 years and is presently a member of the faculty in the University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s B.S. Program in American Sign Language-English Interpreting.

Please join me in extending best wishes to Laurie Shaffer for her dissertation defense.

Posted by Elizabeth Gibbons | Posted November 2, 2018 at 9:38 AM


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