Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Jennifer Rayman

Title: Associate Professor of American Sign Language & Deaf Studies

Office Location: Eureka Hall 310

Email: jrayman@csus.edu

Office Phone: Voice (916) 278-4481 Video: (916) 374-7211

Mailing Address: ASL & Deaf Studies Program, California State University-Sacramento, 6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6079

Office Hours: Currently on Leave of Absence

Website : https://about.me/jennifer.rayman

Research Projects/Interests

As a hearing scholar in the field of Deaf Studies, I explore the boundaries of language and culture.  As I teach mostly hearing students, my aim is to engage students in conversations around becoming more aware of our own privilege as non-Deaf people and encourage us to endeavor to be allies on our journey through the DEAF-WORLD.  Prior to working at CSUS, I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England, where I learned functional skills in  British Sign Language. My Ph.D. is in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. While attending the University of Arizona, I earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Studio Art, American Sign Language, and French as well as an M.A. in English as a Second Language.

The overarching theme of my research focuses on power dynamics at the intersection of Deaf and Hearing communities as well as the construction of culture and identity through discourse.  My research interests range from Deaf/Hearing power relationships, to discourse analysis of American Sign Language storytelling, preaching and poetry, to the construction of Deaf space, to representations of Deaf people in film and television.

Learn about me in American Sign Language

View a bio I produced for my ASL 2 students circa 2009

Courses that I teach

American Sign Languages Skills Courses
  • DEAF 51 American Sign Language 1
  • DEAF 52 American Sign Language 2
  • DEAF 53 American Sign Language 3
Deaf Studies Theory Courses
  • DEAF 163 American Sign Language Literature
  • DEAF 165 Seminar Current Issues in the Deaf World: "Talking Culture: Representations of Deaf People in the Media"
  • DEAF 166 Experiences in the Deaf Community: Dynamics of Opression and Building Allyship


See side link to Academia.edu for dowloadable pdfs of my publications and my PhD Thesis

Rayman, J. (2010) The politics and practice of voice: representing American Sign Language on the screen in two recent television crime dramas. M/C Journal: A journal of media and culture - special Deaf issue (13:3). http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/issue/view/deaf [refereed journal]

Rayman, J. (2009) Why doesn’t everyone here speak Sign Language? Questions of language policy, ideology and economics. Current Issues in Language Planning (10:3), 342-354. [refereed journal]

Rayman, J. (2007) Visions of Equality: Translating Power in a Deaf Sermonette. The Sign Language Translator & Interpreter (1:1), 73-114. [refereed journal]

Padden, C. and Rayman, J. (2002) Concluding Thoughts: The future of American Sign Language. In J. V. Van Cleve, D. F. Armstrong’ and M. A. Karchmer (Eds). The study of Signed Languages: Essays in honor of William C. Stokoe. (pp. 247-261) Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. [book chapter]

Rayman, J. (1999). Storytelling in the visual mode: A comparison of ASL and English. In E. Winston (Ed.). Storytelling and Conversation: Discourse in Deaf Communities. (pp. 59-82) Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press. [book chapter]

Processed Education is for Velveeta Cheese... [painting by Jennifer Rayman] Image of 3 fisher price green men with their heads floating in space.  a giant letter "I" floating behind them, in front o     

"Processed Education is for Velveeta Cheese..." Detail of a painting by Jennifer Rayman


Quotation- black lettering on white background: 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' -Irish poetYeats www.nmschoolforthe arts.rg    

Now that's what education is all about!


Jennifer Rayman holding the sign "Expand" she has what appear to be pigtails in her hair and is wearing a fuscia shirt over a short sleeved pink t-shirt with black lettering: with "Women say No to War"  and No in various languages    



Dehumanizing DEAF [painting by Jennifer Rayman depicts stylized purple humans presenting as male in green shirts holding signs that read "dumb", "auditorily challenged", "hearing impaired"]    

Detail of "Dehumanizing DEAF," by Jennifer Rayman


"Left and Right," oil on canvas, by Deaf Artist,Chuck Baird, 2000. Image description: top view of a brain being suspended between two hands.  The left hand is light blue and the right hand has a different color for each finger - green, blue, purple , red, yellow. infront of the brain is a wooden chair, seated on the chair is a clear glass vase with two white calla lillies. In the background is an evening sky with dark clouds, on the left low in the sky is a red sun on the right low in the sky is a light yellow sun or moon.    

"Left and Right," oil on canvas, by Deaf Artist, Chuck Baird, 2000.