Annelies Kusters

Dr. Annelies Kusters

Social Anthropology, Deaf Studies

Annelies Kusters is now at Heriot-Watt University, Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Edinburgh.

a.kusters(at)hw.ac.uk

Annelies Kusters was a postdoctoral researcher specializing in social and cultural anthropology and deaf studies, with research experience in India, Ghana and Surinam. She has been investigating multimodal languaging between deaf and hearing strangers and acquaintances in public and parochial spaces in Mumbai (such as markets, shops, streets, food joints and public transport). She investigates the discourse range of gesture-based communication, their limitations and potential in relation to the places where the interactions happen and to people’s perspectives of gesture-based communication. In Mumbai, since 2007 she has also conducted fieldwork in suburban trains. Annelies was Coordinator of the institute’s International Working Group on Sociolinguistic Diversity (http://www.mmg.mpg.de/subsites/sociolinguistic-diversities/about/). In 2016 she received the Jean Rouch Award (2016) from the Society for Visual Anthropology for her ethnographic film Ishaare: gestures and signs in Mumbai, and in 2015 the Ton Vallen Award for her written work on sociolinguistic and issues in multicultural societies. She is the PI for a European Research Council Starting Grant (€1.5 million) for a project entitled ‘Deaf mobilities across international borders: visualising intersectionality and translanguaging (MobileDeaf)’ (2017-2022).

For her PhD in Deaf Studies (University of Bristol), she did field work in Adamorobe, a village in Ghana where, due to the historical presence of a high incidence of hereditary deafness, both deaf and hearing people use a locally emerged sign language with each other. She investigated social relationships between the deaf and hearing inhabitants, deaf space-making, deaf sociality, discourses about the cause of deafness, language practices and language ideologies.