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Thesis on Deaf Culture Wins Giles Brown Award

April 11, 2013

Ian J. Barraza

Ian J. Barraza

Ian J. Barraza ’12 (M.A. American studies) is the recipient of this year’s Giles T. Brown Outstanding Thesis Award for “Lend Me Your Eyes: Attending to Deaf Culture and the Maneuverability of Identity,” which the award committee called “excellent, lucid, interesting, well-written and exceptionally well-researched.”

Barraza, of Riverside, spent more than a year collecting data for his study, observing and interviewing people who are deaf and use American Sign Language. 

Carrie M. Lane, associate professor of American studies and Barraza’s thesis committee chair, said his thesis is “as beautifully crafted as it is intellectually ambitious. It is an original, compelling investigation of identity, community and political activism within the American Deaf community that weaves together diverse strands of qualitative data and cultural theory in an engaging and nuanced analysis of the complex processes by which minority groups work to advance their interests within existing power structures.”

Given annually, the award recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master’s level. The award is named in honor of Giles T. Brown, associate vice president emeritus for academic programs and graduate studies, professor emeritus of history and recipient of the university’s Outstanding Professor Award.

Media Contact: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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