Keynote Speakers

Critical Juncture 2019 is excited to welcome the following senior and junior keynote speakers for our conference.

Senior Speaker: Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Gallaudet University

Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Gallaudet University, a bilingual university American Sign Language and English institution serving deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in Washington DC. She is the only signing Deaf philosopher in the world with a doctorate in philosophy. Her publications cover a wide range of genres, including peer-reviewed scholarship in philosophy, bioethics, policy, and interpreting ethics. She has also written for the general public, including mainstream media publications, creative nonfiction, and poetry in both American Sign Language and English. Dr. Burke has served on a number of national and international committees for a variety of organizations, including the World Federation of the Deaf, the American Philosophical Association, the Hearing Loss Association of America, and the National Association of the Deaf (USA). Teresa divides her time between Washington DC and the historic neighborhood of Barelas in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is currently working on a philosophical memoir about grief and resilience about her experience as a young widow and single mother in Cody, Wyoming.


Keynote Title: Reasoning Through Space and Time: Doing Philosophy in a Signed Language


Doing philosophy bilingually isn’t anything new, nor is doing philosophy bimodally. This can be documented back to Plato’s observation in the Phaedrus about the difference in doing philosophy through the modes of spoken language and writing. While most scholars understand this point to be about the difference between the exchange of ideas via live interaction and one involving capturing ideas through frozen text (an interpretation that I am not challenging); another way of reading this (ahem) is a point about modality. In the case of the transition from doing philosophy via speech to doing philosophy in writing, the body (and presumably the brain, though I will leave this to the cognitive neuroscientists) takes up a different set of movements — discussing philosophy in a spoken language calls on different bodily action than writing philosophy. I pivot from this observation to an account of the process of doing philosophy in a signed language modality, taking up topics of translation, interpretation, and lexicon construction in this talk.


Junior Speaker: Jamica Zion, Emory University

Jamica Zion is a second year PhD student in Sociology and is pursuing a certificate in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. Her work focuses on intersectionality, inequality, mental health, American history, culture, and violence. Outside of her PhD, she is a facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League, where she leads activities and discussions in schools for students and their teachers on topics such as bias, discrimination, building communities and ally-ship. She has seven years of experience teaching and facilitating social justice topics through many organizations and settings, such as Compugirls, the Boys and Girls Club, and Cops and Kids.


Keynote Title: Five Lessons Learned from Communicating within Systems of Power and Privilege


Maneuvering through academic and work spheres as a queer woman of color has left Jamica with invaluable insight to the nuances of power, privilege, and difference. By examining a series of vignettes, the conference participants will gain insight to the influential moments that continue to inform Jamica’s social justice work. Such moments that have prompted questions like: Whose job is it to fix racism, sexism, or ableism? Does intent really matter? Ally: title or way of life? Through the stories behind these questions, the audience will have a chance to explore perspectives and strategies to effectively communicate across boundaries and help disrupt the systems that have built and maintained them.


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