I like to think of myself foremost as a superhero. No. Not the Batman, Superman, and Spiderman-type. Instead of cruising Gotham in the Batmobile, flying over Metropolis, and crawling skyscrapers, I fight crime the old-fashioned way – at a desk with a typewriter (okay, it’s a MacBook Pro).  In private and virtual circles, I call myself a superhero writer.

Professionally, though, I usually tell folks I’m an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Pennsylvania State University.  I’m also the co-Director of the Center for Disability Studies and core faculty in the Comparative & International Education program.

Recently I wrote an autobiographical-novel and autoethnography called d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero published by Peter Lang in the Disability Studies in Education Series.  I’m also co-Principal Investigator of the Spencer Foundation video ethnography project — Kindergartens for the Deaf in Three Countries: Japan, France, and the United States.  I was awarded the 2012 Ping Fellowship by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) for the “Disability in Situation: French Notions of Disability and Difference” seminar in Paris, France.  I was also awarded the 2012 Ellen Brantlinger Junior Scholar Award from the Annual Second City International Conference on Disability Studies in Education and the 2013 Council on Anthropology and Education Presidential Early Career Fellowship within the American Anthropological Association.  My research has been featured in the TED talk “Hearing the Unheard,” on the WPSU/PBS talk show Conversations with Patty SataliaThe Makings of a Superhero,” and in the July 2013 issue of The Economist in the article “Technology and Deaf People: Listen Up.”

To learn more about my background and work, please visit the menu above. Feel free to Email me at jvalente@psu.edu.