Dr. Emmanuel Asonye had his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Linguistics and Igbo Studies and his doctoral in Linguistics and Communications from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. During and after his doctoral, he had several other nondegree trainings in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Sign language linguistics and language documentation, all of which make up the core of his research interest. Since 2014, Dr. Asonye and his team have been collecting signed language and Deaf demographic data from the Nigerian Deaf community through a research-based NGO he founded, Save the Deaf and Endangered Languages Initiative. He is working to develop the first online (and offline) dictionary of indigenous Nigerian Sign Language(s) to create language access for several deaf children with limited or no language access in their critical child development age. As a result, he is studying deaf child language acquisition and literacy in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Dr. Emmanuel Asonye joined Africana Studies in 2019 as a Research Scholar after serving in the same position for three years in the UNM Linguistics Department. In addition to documenting the indigenous signed languages of Nigerian deaf community, which he sees as a lifetime project, He is interested in investigating identity crisis and language barrier among African refugees in New Mexico, a study in which he did a pilot project in 2017, funded by Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UNM and Albuquerque Foundations. He is equally working to establish an African Language and Culture Institute with Africana Studies, which will have a study abroad piece. Dr. Asonye will be teaching a series of courses on “Decolonizing African Culture Communication System” and “Creating Language Access for the Linguistically and Culturally Marginalized African Diaspora in the Southwest”.