Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2006
    Professor of Sign Language Linguistics, University of Central Lancashire, UK

  • 2003 – 2006
    Research Fellow under the German Research Council's Emmy-Noether Programme, Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, NL

  • 2001 – 2006
    Academic Consultant, Indian Sign Language Cell, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai, India

  • 1999 – 2003
    Research Fellow, Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, Melbourne, Australia

  • 1996 – 2000
    PhD in linguistics, University of Cologne

  • 1990 – 1996
    MA in linguistics, oriental studies and English, University of Cologne, Germany

Selected publications

  • Zeshan, U. (forthcoming 2020) Serious Games in Co-creative Facilitation: Experiences from Cross-Sectoral work with Deaf Communities. Ishara Research Series No.5. Lancaster: Ishara Press.

  • Zeshan, U. & Webster, J. (eds.) (2019) Sign Multlingualism. Sign Language Typology Series No. 7. Berlin a.o.: De Gruyter Mouton & Lancaster: Ishara Press.

  • Zeshan, U. & Palfreyman, N. (2017) Sign Language Typology. In A.Y. Aikhenvald & R.M.W. Dixon (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology (pp. 178-216). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Byun, K.S., Bradford, A., Zeshan, U., Levinson, S. C., & de Vos, C. (2017) First encounters: Repair sequences in cross-signing. Topics in Cognitive Science, Special Issue on Miscommunication, pp. 1-21. doi: 10.1111/tops.12303

  • Gillen, J., U. Papen, S. Panda & U. Zeshan (2016) Peer to Peer Deaf Literacy – Working with young deaf people and peer tutors in India, Language and Language Teaching 5 10, 1-7.

  • Sagara, K. & U. Zeshan (eds.) (2016) Semantic Fields in Sign Languages. Colour, Kinship and Quantification. Sign Language Typology Series No. 6. Berlin a.o.: De Gruyter Mouton & Lancaster: Ishara Press.

  • Zeshan, U. & Panda, S. (2015) Two languages at hand: Code-switching in bilingual signers. Sign Language & Linguistics 18(1): 90–131.

  • Zeshan, U. (2015) “Making meaning” – Communication between sign language users without a shared language. Cognitive Linguistics 26(2): 211–260.

  • Zeshan, U., Escobedo Delgado, C.E., Dikyuva, H., Panda, S. & de Vos, C. (2013) Cardinal numerals in village sign languages – Approaching cross-modal typology. Linguistic Typology 17(3): 357-396.

  • Zeshan, U. & Dikyuva, H. (2013) Documentation of Endangered Sign Languages – The Case of Mardin Sign Language. In: Jones, M. & Ogilvie, S. (eds.) Keeping Languages Alive: Documentation, Pedagogy, and Revitalization. Cambridge: CUP, pp. 29-41.



Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Principal Investigator, Economic and Social Research Council and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, UK "Peer to Peer Deaf Multiliteracies", 2017 – 2021

  • Principal Investigator, Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development funded programme "Raising Learning Outcomes"; project on deaf literacy, 2015 – 2016

  • Principal Investigator, European Research Council, project “Multilingual behaviours in sign language users”, 2011 – 2016

  • Principal Investigator, EUROCORES, EuroBabel (European Science Foundation / AHRC), project “Endangered sign languages in village communities”, 2009 – 2013

  • Principal Investigator, Education Partnerships in Africa Programme (British Council), “Training and employability for the deaf communities in Ghana and Uganda”, 2009 – 2011

  • Project director (Emmy Noether Programme, German Research Council, DFG), "Typology of sign languages – Comparative linguistic studies of sign languages", 2003 – 2008

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of Academia Europaea

  • Member of the Sign Language and Linguistics Society and Association for Linguistic Typology

  • Member of the peer review college, Education and Social Science Research Council, England

  • Peer reviewer for Australian Research Council, National Science Foundation (US), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Volkswagen Foundation, Leverhulme Trust (UK)

  • Peer reviews for journals, including Language, Linguistics, Sign Language and Linguistics

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Strongly multilingual and multicultural, Coordination and facilitation, especially across different sectors and with diverse communities


Other activities and achievements/family

  • One adult son, Music (choir, piano and flute), Eco-village development in India


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