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Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Jennifer Rayman -- American Sign Language & Deaf Studies

Title: Associate Professor

Office Location: Eureka Hall 310


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

Mailing Address: ASL & Deaf Studies Program, California State University-Sacramento, 6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6069

Office Hours: Spring 2018: Regular hours: Mon 11-11:50am & 1-1:25pm; Wed 8-8:50am, 11-11:30pm & 1-1:25pm

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


See side link to 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). [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]    "Processed Education is for Velveeta Cheese..." Detail of a painting by Jennifer Rayman

     Now that's what education is all about!

Jennifer Rayman holding the sign      Expand!

Dehumanizing DEAF [painting by Jennifer Rayman]     Detail of "Dehumanizing DEAF," by Jennifer Rayman

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