Benjamin James Bahan's Pasision for American Sign Language and Deaf Literature

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Benjamin James Bahan who was born by Deaf parents in New Jersey was very passionate about American Sign Language and Deaf Literature. As a child he attended Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf in West Trenton, New Jersey as well as Gallaudet University where he is now a professor and chair of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Upon returning to Gallaudet University as a professor and chairs person in 1996 he went to The Salk Institute in La Jolla where he researched American Sign Language linguistics and acquisitions as well as receiving his masters degree in Deaf Education and helped operate the Deaf Studies Program in the School of Education at Boston University. Lucky for Ben, while attending Boston University he met his wonderful wife who was not only Deaf but had Deaf parents just like him.
In the Deaf community Benjamin Bahan is considered an influential figure because not only does he write about Deaf culture but he is a storyteller as well. Bahan has published at least twenty-eight articles, five books, and eight videotapes. With Dirksen Bauman and Melissa Malzkuhn they created the world’s first online journal called, Deaf Studies Digital Journal. It is a “peer-reviewed academic and cultural arts journal to feature scholarship and creative work in both signed and written languages” (Gallaudet Press). Because he is a storyteller he appears in chapter two of “Signing the Body Poetics”. In this chapter he talks about the Face-to-Face tradition in the American

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