Dr. Annelies Kusters, 2013-2017
Annelies Kusters was a Post-doctoral 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 (e.g., markets, shops, streets, food outlets and public transport). She investigates the discourse range of gesture-based communication, and their limitations and potential in relation to the places where the interactions occur 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. 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 Principal Investigator 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). Annelies Kusters is now at Heriot-Watt University, the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Edinburgh.