Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2002
M.A. University of Virginia, 1995
B.A. Yale, 1989


Edited Works

Co-editor, with Rebecca Sanchez, special issue of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies on representations of deafness 15:2 (2021).


  • “Blindness in Postcolonial Literature: Coetzee, Mehta, and Recognition,” in The Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Disability Studies, eds. Tsitsi Chataika and Dan Goodley (Routledge Press, 2024).
  • “Decolonizing Literary Studies through Disability,” in Decolonizing the Literary Curriculum, eds. Ato Quayson and Ankhi Mukherjee (Cambridge University Press, 2023).
  • “Illuminating the Paradoxes of Deaf Experience: Bowe, Gannon, and Disability,” Sign Language Studies 23.3 (spring 2023): 355-385.
  • “Introduction: Why Representation Matters.” With Rebecca Sanchez.  Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 15:2 (2021): 125-32.
  • “Disability Studies,” in A Companion to Literary Theory, ed. David Richter (Wiley Blackwell, 2018).
  • "Borges in the Mind’s Eye," Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 10:1 (2016): 37-51.
  • "The Hearing Line: How Literature Gains from Deaf People," in Deaf Gain: Reimagining Human Diversity, ed. H.-Dirksen L. Bauman and Joseph J. Murray, University of Minnesota Press (2014).
  • "Foreword," Deaf American Prose 1830-1930, ed. Jennifer L. Nelson and Kristen C. Harmon, Gallaudet University Press (2013).
  • "John Carlin and Deaf Double Consciousness," in A Fair Chance in the Race of Life: The Role of Gallaudet University in Deaf History, ed. Brian H. Greenwald and John Vickrey Van Cleve, Gallaudet University Press (2008).
  • "The Camera as Printing Press: How Film has Influenced ASL Literature," in Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature, ed. H. Dirksen L. Bauman, Jennifer L. Nelson, and Heidi Rose, U of California P (2006).
  • "A ‘Vacant Receptacle'? Blind Tom, Cognitive Difference, and Pedagogy," PMLA 120:2 (March 2005): 552-557.
  • "Duncan Campbell and the Discourses of Deafness," Prose Studies 27: 1 & 2 (April-August 2005): 39-52.
  • "Frankenstein, Gattaca, and the Quest for Perfection," in Genetics, Disability, and Deafness, ed. John Vickrey Van Cleve, Gallaudet UP (2004).
  • "Exploring the 'Hearing Line': Deafness, Laughter, and Mark Twain," in Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities, ed. Sharon L. Snyder, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Modern Language Association Press, 2002).

Encyclopedia Entries

  • “American Sign Language Poetry,” in Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th edition, eds. Roland Greene and Stephen Cushman (2012).
  • “Disability Theory,” in The Encyclopedia of the Novel, ed. Peter Logan, Wiley-Blackwell (2010).
  • Contributor, The Robert Frost Encyclopedia, ed. Nancy Tuten and John Zubizarreta, Greenwood Press (2000).


  • Of Peter J. Kalliney, The Aesthetic Cold War: Decolonization and Global Literature, in Modern Fiction Studies 70:1 (spring 2024): 184-6.
  • Of David Bolt, The Metanarrative of Blindness: A Re-Reading of Twentieth-Century Anglophone Writing, in American Literary History, On-line Review, Series III, (2015).
  • Of R. A. R. Edwards, Words Made Flesh: Nineteenth-Century Deaf Education and the Growth of Deaf Culture, in American Historical Review 118: 2 (April 2013): 512-13.
  • Of Anne T. Quartararo, Deaf Identity and Social Images in Nineteenth-Century France, in American Historical Review 114:5 (December 2009): 1547-1548.
  • "Deaf Studies and the 2006 Gallaudet Protests," review of H.-Dirksen L. Bauman, ed., Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking, in Sign Language Studies 10:1 (Fall 2009): 110-132.
  • "Deaf Culture Prevails," review of Susan Burch, Signs of Resistance, and Robert Buchanan, ed., Gaillard in Deaf America, in Sign Language Studies 4:2 (Winter 2004): 198-209.
  • Of Jim Cohn, Sign Mind: Studies in American Sign Language Poetics, in Sign Language Studies 1.3 (Spring 2001): 316-323.

Recent Presentations

  • “Anthologizing ASL Literature,” Modern Language Association convention, Philadelphia PA (Jan. 2024)
  • “Frank Bowe, Deaf Culture, and Section 504,” Hofstra University (March 2023).
  • Respondent, New Literary History virtual forum on Animality/Posthumanism/Disability (Mar. 2021).
  • “The Impact of Disability History: A Roundtable Discussion,” University of Virginia (Dec. 2019).
  • “War, Neoliberalism, and Disability Human Rights in Two Chris Abani Novels,” Mellon Humanities Fellow Symposium Series, University of Virginia (Feb. 2018).
  • “Reading Disability and Gender in the Global South,” Disability at the Intersection symposium, University of Virginia (Feb. 2018).
  • "On Becoming Wise, in Goffman’s Sense," Disability across the Disciplines symposium, University of Virginia (Feb. 2016).
  • "Writing the Hearing Line," Gallaudet University (Oct. 2015).
  • "Colonialism, Disability, and J. M. Coetzee." Society for Disability Studies conference, Atlanta, GA (June 2015).
  • "Disability and Trauma in Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory." Society for Disability Studies conference, Minneapolis, MN (June 2014).
  • "Disability Studies and U.Va.," Disabling Normalcy symposium, University of Virginia (Feb. 2014).
  • "Figuring Disability in Postcolonial Literature," English Dept. Faculty Lecture, University of Virginia (Feb. 2014).
  • Roundtable participant, "Disability Discourses in Latin America: Academy and Activism," Modern Language Association convention, Chicago IL (Jan. 2014).
  • "Deaf Literature, Medicine, and the Paradoxes of Identity"
    —Medical Center Hour, University of Virginia (Feb. 2013).
    —Modern Language Association convention, Boston MA (Jan. 2013).
  • “Midnight’s Children and the Disabled Subaltern,” Modern Language Association convention, Seattle, WA (Jan. 2012).
  • “Critiquing Ableism?  Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,” Modern Language Association convention, Seattle, WA (Jan. 2012).
  • “Signs of Change: ASL and the Academy.” Decomposing Disability symposium, the George Washington University, Washington, DC (Nov. 2011).
  • “’She was Plumb Deef and Dumb, Huck!’ Literature and Disability.” Foundational Texts and Traditions conference, Peking University, Beijing, China (Aug. 2011).
  • “Borges in the Mind’s Eye,” Society for Disability Studies conference, San Jose, CA (June 2011).
  • “Writing Deaf Identity in Nineteenth-Century America”
    —The Edmund Lyon Memorial Lecture Series, National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology (Oct. 2009)
    —Brown University (Sept. 2009)
    —Faculty lecture, Colonnade Club, University of Virginia (Feb. 2009)
    —The University of Pennsylvania (Oct. 2008)
    —Boston University (April 2007)

Selected Awards and Professional Activity

  • Co-director, Disability Studies Initiative at U.Va. (2015-2022)
  • Editorial Board, Sign Language Studies (1999-present), Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (2017-present), and Disability Studies Quarterly (2010-12)
  • MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession (2003-2006)
  • Coordinator, Annual ASL/Deaf Culture Lecture Series (1995; 2003-14; co-coordinator 1996-99)
  • Finalist, 1998 Seven Society Graduate Fellowship for Superb Teaching, University of Virginia
First Name: 
Professor, English and American Sign Language Program
Computing ID: 
Office Address: 

110 Bryan Hall

Christopher Kentz headshot

American, Disability Studies, World Anglophone

Class Schedule: 
MWF 12-1 p.m., MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Office Hours: 
2-3 M and F in person in Bryan 110, 3-4 on Zoom (link: T 3-4, and by appointment.