The new priority program ViCom was ceremonially opend
ViCom_KickoffThe new DFG priority program Visual Communication (ViCom) has successfully started its first phase. From November 16 to 18, 2022, about 60 PhD students, postdocs and PIs spent three days in the wonderful atmosphere of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg intensively exchanging ideas about the individual projects, possible collaborations and long-term perspectives as well as the organization of the priority program and the handling of visual data. The lively and stimulating discussions showed that all members of this very interdisciplinary priority program are extremely motivated to make the analysis of visual communication a core topic not only in linguistic research of the future. More information on the kickoff meeting can be found here. (Photo Stefanie Wetzel)

Guest lecture by Anna Folchi und Sara Trovato at our "Gebärdentreff"
SLDC book presentationOn November 3, 2022, Anna Folchi and Sara Trovato presented their new book at the Göttingen "Gebärdentreff". The topic of the lecture was the different socio-economic conditions of deaf men, hearing men, deaf women and hearing women in Europe. In the lecture, the two authors combined statistical data from different European countries with the very personal life experiences of Anna as a deaf woman in Italy in the 60s and 70s. Following the very exciting and touching presentation, there was a champagne reception in the rooms of the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG) and afterwards a dinner together, which offered many opportunities for further questions and discussions. Four sign language interpreters ensured communicative accessibility between the three languages DGS, International Sign and English.

CampusPost about our DaLeLe4All Project

The complete article: here

ViCom kickoff meeting in Bad Homburg
vicom_logoFrom November 16 to 18, 2022, the kickoff meeting of our new priority program Visual Communication (ViCom) will take place at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg. During the three days, all 19 projects will introduce themselves and discuss in several working groups possible collaborations, milestones and objectives for the first phase of the program. An important part of the program will also be two workshops on data protection and the ViCom Data Network and a plenary presentation by Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS and New York University). In addition to the scientific exchange during the day, time is reserved in the evening for social activities and informal discussions. More information on the kickoff meeting can be found here.

The Social Situation of Deaf People - Book presentation at Göttingen University
SLDC_16On November 3, 2022 at 6 pm, Anna Folchi and Sara Trovato will present their new book "The Social Situation of Deaf People – The Story of a Woman and a Hearing Society." The book is about the social condition of Deaf people, told through a Deaf woman’s autobiography and a series of scientific essays investigating how hearing societies relate to Deaf people. The presentation with the title "Deaf Men, Hearing Men, Deaf Women, Hearing Women" will focus on the education and professional situation of deaf people in Europe. More information can be found here

Invitation video for the book presentation in November

The new DGS calendar for 2023
calendar 2023For the year 2023, Thomas Finkbeiner and Nina-Kristin Pendzich have once again come up with lots of new content for the German Sign Language calendar. The pages of the tear-off calendar offer a varied mix of information, tips and exercises under the five thematic headings Vocabulary, Grammar, Conversational Situation, Culture, and Did you know ...? In the calendar there are over 950 photos of signs taken with 13 deaf people and a Coda, supplemented by numerous photos of hand shapes of the signs in close-up. In addition, deaf illustrator Jana Haring has produced several drawings. For better understanding, all signs are accompanied by arrows for movement. In addition, several signed exercise videos can be accessed via QR codes and links. The calendar can be ordered directly from Helmut Buske Verlag and in any bookstore.

Information video on the new DGS calender

Information video on the interdisciplinary project „Daten Lesen Lernen für Alle“ (DaLeLe4All) - Learning to Read Data

Special session on visual communication and sign language at the 53rd NELS conference at the University of Göttingen
NELS logoThe 53rd conference of the North Eastern Linguistic Society (NELS), which will be jointly organized with the Research Training Group 2636 "Form-meaning Mismatches", will take place at the University of Göttingen in mid-January. This conference includes a workshop on visual communication and sign languages. This special session will be organized together with the new priority program 2329 "Visual Communication (Vicom)". We are pleased that Diane Brentari from the University of Chicago accepted our invitation as plenary speaker for this workshop. More information on the conference and the call for papers can be found here.

Marloes Oomen will be teaching at the annual Göttingen Summer School in Linguistics 7
LinGThe 7th Göttingen Linguistic Summer School at the end of September is dedicated to the topic of corpus linguistics with a special focus on the annotation and analysis of data. In addition to interesting courses on many basic and applied aspects, there will also be a course by Marloes Oomen from Amsterdam on the use of sign language corpora for linguistic analysis. More information about the summer school is available here.

First ViCom workshop on data management and data protection
vicom_logoFrom July 18 to 20, 2022, the first workshop of our new priority program Visual Communication (ViCom) on the topics of data management and data protection took place in Königstein/Taunus (a city near Frankfurt/Main). During the three days, the members of the ViCom data network discussed the question of how sustainable and transparent data management can be organized in the area of multimodal data. The focus was on issues related to metadata, copyright, ethics, annotation and anonymization. Further information on the priority program can be found here.

Thomas visited the "Forum Wissen", the new museum of knowledge, and made a short video

The Sign Team participated in the 'Nacht des Wissens'.
NDW1 NDW2 On Saturday, July 9, 2022, the SignLab was represented at the 5th 'Nacht des Wissens'. Together with the Research Training School 2626 "Form-meaning Mismatches", we offered numerous activities for young and old. In addition to the usual DGS trial courses, we built a wheel of fortune with the DGS finger alphabet and we developed a sign language puzzle. Furthermore, the accessible educational videos "Daten Lesen Lernen (DaLeLe4ALL)" were presented, which were created with the participation of the SignLab last year. As in previous years, our stand was exceptionally well attended during the night of science and the three trial courses were completely booked out.

The Sign Language Lab Göttingen is publishing the new inclusive bimodal-bilingual book series "German Sign Language and Deaf Communities" (Buske Verlag)
Series BuskeThe first bimodal-bilingual book series in German Sign Language (DGS) and German written language sets new standards. All volumes in this new series are written in easy-to-understand written German and include videos of the content in DGS accessible via QR codes and Internet links. Edited by Thomas Finkbeiner and Nina-Kristin Pendzich, the volumes in this series will provide comprehensive insights into the language and culture of deaf people in Germany. The content is supplemented by numerous examples from DGS in the form of photos and videos. All volumes are written from the perspective of deaf experts and are written either by deaf authors or by teams of deaf and hearing authors. The book series is designed as a successful example of participatory science and knowledge transfer. The first volume "100 Questions and Answers about German Sign Language" is written by Thomas Finkbeiner, Liona Paulus and Nina-Kristin Pendzich. More information about the book series is available here (only in German).

We are looking for participants for a new fMRI study on the processing of sign language
fmrt_leipzigWe, a group of hearing and deaf researchers at the MPI Leipzig and the University of Göttingen are looking for deaf individuals aged 18 and older who acquired German Sign Language (DGS) early in childhood and usually use DGS to communicate in everyday life. We are using neuroscientific methods to investigate how the brain processes DGS. Our study uses non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Further information (also in DGS) can be found hier.

Guest lecture by Hanna Jaeger at our "Gebärdentreff"
Presentation JaegerOn June 14, 2022, Hanna Jaeger gave an online lecture at our "Gebärdentreff". The topic of her presentation was "The Oil is Missing: Empirical Perspectives on 'Authentic DGS'". In her presentation, she explored the question of what exactly is meant by the statement "The person over there - she signs very authentically"? Hanna presented new empirical studies that show that the term "authentic DGS" is very complex. It often describes a feeling that is influenced by both linguistic and social factors. Following the lecture, there was a lively discussion. The lecture was translated into German Sign Language by two sign language interpreters.

Four project proposals from Göttingen were successful in the new DFG Priority Program "Visual Communication (ViCom)"
vicom_logoIn the first phase of the DFG Priority Program "Visual Communication (ViCom)", four projects based at the University of Göttingen and the University Medical Center Göttingen will be funded from September 2022. The four projects, that investigate quite different aspects of visual communication, are (i) Lying, deceiving, misleading: are we committed to our gestures? (Mailin Antomo, SDP) (ii) Processes of stabilization in gestures. A media-specific and cross-modal approach (Silva Ladewig, SDP), (iii) Parts of speech and iconicity in German Sign Language (DGS) (Nina-Kristin Pendzich and Markus Steinbach, both SDP, and Emiliano Zaccarella, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig) and (iv) Multimodal assessment of dyadic interaction in disorders of social interaction (Martin Schulte-Rüther, UMG). We are very much looking forward to future collaborations in the field of visual communication. More information on the priority program can be found here.

New volume in our Sign Languages and Deaf Community (SLDC) series
SLDC_16This book is about the social condition of Deaf people, told through a Deaf woman’s autobiography and a series of essays investigating how hearing societies relate to Deaf people. Michel Foucault described the powerful one as the beholder who is not seen. This is why a Deaf woman’s perspective is important: Minorities that we don’t even suspect we have power over observe us in turn. Majorities exert power over minorities by influencing the environment and institutions that simplify or hinder lives: language, mindsets, representations, norms, the use of professional power. Based on data collected by Eurostat, this volume provides the first discussion of statistics on the condition of Deaf people in a series of European countries, concerning education, labor, gender. This creates a new opportunity to discuss inequalities on the basis of data. The case studies in this volume reconstruct untold moments of great advancement in Deaf history, successful didactics supporting bilingualism, the reasons why Deaf empowerment for and by Deaf people does and does not succeed. A work of empowerment is effective if it acts on a double level: the community to be empowered and society at large, resulting in a transformation of society as a whole. This book provides instruments to work towards such a transformation.

Guest Lecture on Sign Language at the Seminar for Slavic Philology
Anastasia BauerOn May 25, 2022, Dr. Anastasia Bauer from the Institute of German Sign Language at the University of Hamburg and the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Cologne will give a guest lecture at the Colloquium of Slavic Linguistics on the topic "On the origin of mouthing in Russian Sign Language: a complex interplay of sign language, spoken language and written language". The lecture, given in German, will begin at 6:15 pm and will be translated into German Sign Language by two sign language interpreters.

Rehana Omardeen has successfully defended her doctoral thesis
Defense RehanaRehana successfully defended her PhD thesis at the end of April. Her project focuses on Providence Island Sign Language, a sign language used by a very small community on a small island in the Caribbean. Rehana investigated communicative interaction between signers with a focus on the introduction of new discourse referents and the use of different kinds of repair strategies to resolve communicative misunderstandings. The dissertation is part of a broad documentation project on this particular endangered sign language. The online defense was a great success - Rehana answered all questions with flying colors. We will catch up with the Gänseliesel kiss together with a public lecture on the main results of the PhD thesis in late summer. Congratulations for this great success!

Visual Communication - Workshop at this year's annual conference of the German Linguistic Society.
dgfs_vicom_2022The workshop organized by the Sign-Team Göttingen together with colleagues from the University of Göttingen and the University of Frankfurt/Main at the 44th annual conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) in Tübingen was a very big success. Up to 80 participants attended the three-day workshop on "Visual Communication. New Theoretical and Empirical Developments". We would like to thank all presenters and participants for the exciting presentations and interesting discussions and we are looking forward to future discussions of this topical issue in linguistic research. More information and the PDFs of many of the presentations can be found here.

The first accessible training videos for statistics "Daten Lesen Lernen (DaLeLe4ALL)" are now available under dissemination

Participants wanted for an online study on DGS
We, a group of hearing and deaf researchers from the MPI Leipzig and the Georg-August-University Göttingen, are looking for deaf signers aged 18 and older who usually use German Sign Language (DGS) for communication in everyday life. Our online study investigates the grammar of DGS in an experiment. Participants can easily participate from home. All you need is a computer (PC/Mac or laptop) with a keyboard and internet connection. Participation takes about 30 minutes. You can find more information hier. The flyer for the study is available hier (both only in German).

Workshop on Visual Communication at Annual Conference of the DGfS
vicom_logoIn collaboration with the Seminar for English Philology at the University of Göttingen and the Institute for Linguistics at the University of Frankfurt am Main, the Sign Team Göttingen is organizing an interdisciplinary workshop at this year's Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS). The workshop will address theoretical, empirical, and applied questions of visual communication with a special focus on co-speech gestures and sign language. The languages of the conference are English and ASL/International Sign. The program and further information can be found here.

Online Panel Discussion: Accessibility in Science, January 27 from 14:30-16:30
The Network 'Deaf History' funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) is hosting a public online panel discussion on accessibility in science in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on January 27 from 14:30-16:30. Participants in the discussion:
- Prof. Sabine Fries, head of the sign language interpretion program at Landshut University of Applied Sciences.
- Juliane Wenke, doctoral student at the historical seminar of the University of Erfurt
- Lela Finkbeiner, master student critical diversity and community studies (Kridico), Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, activist, author and freelance lecturer in diversity and community studies
- Prof. Christiane Hohenstein, director of the research unit 'Interculturalism and Language Diversity', Zurich University of Applied Sciences
- Georg Marsh, department 'Deaf and Hard of Hearing Study Successfully', teaching support centers of the Vienna University of Technology
- Dr. Susanne Knoop, director of the group of equal opportunities, scientific integrity and procedural design, DFG
Link to the event: (written, DGS, and ÖGS interpretation will be provided)