Fall 2022 Internationalizing and Decolonizing the Curriculum Seminar Final Projects

In fall 2022, seven faculty members participated in our first Internationalizing and Decolonizing the Curriculum Seminar, adapted from the earlier Internationalizing the Curriculum Seminar. These faculty members met for six ninety-minute sessions with Director of Study Abroad Emily Gorlewski and Associate Director of Intercultural Learning Anita Deeg-Carlin. They discussed internationalizing and decolonizing their teaching as well as their departments’ and Wesleyan’s curriculum. The faculty members each developed a syllabus, unit, or project for their students, bringing in international and decolonizing perspectives. 

The faculty members participating were:  

Raquel Bryant, Assistant Professor, Earth & Environmental Science 

Courtney Fullilove, Associate Professor, History, Environmental Studies, and Science in Society 

Natasha Karageorgos, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies 

Kerwin Kaye, Associate Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Sociology, and American Studies, and Tutor, College of Social Studies 

Robin Mazzola, Costume Shop Manager and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater 

Elizabeth McAllister, Professor, Religion, African American Studies, American Studies, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

Pedro Pascual, Assistant Professor of the Practice, American Sign Language 

IDC PROJECT, by Pedro Pascual on ASL 1 (LANG 190) and ASL 2 (LANG 191)

Selecting More Diverse Material for ASL Courses

The reading of specific books was required to complete assignments for the cultural aspect of the courses. The books were:

  • For ASL 1: “Learning To Be Deaf Without Losing Your Hearing”.
  • For ASL 2: “Train Go Sorry: Inside A Deaf World”.

But the most important material used in the courses are the videos. The previous collection of videos used in class rarely include a diversity of signers and/or signed languages. Some content is also heavily based on a certain way of life (so-considered American).

There are three issues with the material used so far.

  • Do not have representations (actors) that include diversity.
  • Most of it is written in English, not recorded in signed languages.
  • Are focused on the so-called “standard ASL”, and do not take into account variations from other communities in America (Black ASL) or signed languages from other countries (French SL, Mexican SL, etc.)

For this IDC project, I am adjusting the materials and requirements for both courses.


ASL 1:

The readings will be focused on the life experience of the deaf people or their family members.

For the readings, the assignments will be graded as bonus points. The requirement is to complete assignments on a chosen book that is included in a pre-screened list or be proposed by the students. Most of the included texts are intentionally international or intersectional:

  • Deaf in Delhi
  • Deaf in Japan
  • Deaf Republic (in Russia)
  • Deaf Me Normal (in South Africa)
  • Le cri de la muette (in France)
  • La niña que no decía hola (in Spain)
  • Deaf Utopia (Queer in America)
  • On the Beat of Truth (Black in America)
  • Train Go Sorry: Inside A Deaf World (CODA)
  • Learning To Be Deaf Without Losing Your Hearing (Hard of Hearing)
  • More books to be included

ASL 2:

The readings will build upon the list of books for ASL 1. They will include books on signed languages, historical works, and fiction. They should be accessible to beginners. The more academic works will be reserved for advanced levels of ASL and for the courses on Deaf Culture, Literature, etc. The new items include:

  • El Deafo
  • True Biz: a Novel
  • Show Me a Sign
  • Etc.


Previous ASL videos on the web or on platforms with ASL material did not represent diversity. The new material, including the new True Way ASL platform, is much more diverse. See the actors and authors on their website. This platform also provides newly added material on deaf culture.

I will also include publicly available videos on the web that represent minorities in America and different signed languages around the world. The list is in progress. They will be used for assignments on culture and replace the previous assignments on the books.


The changes in the grading schema mean a lower weight on the assignments for the books, and a higher weight on the assignments for the videos. Those changes reflect the refocus on the signed languages instead of English, and the inclusion of a more diverse cast.