Elizabeth Parks, PhD

About Elizabeth S. Parks, M.A., Ph.D.

Dr. Liz Parks is a scholar in Communication Studies, specializing in ethics, listening, and diversity. Her research and teaching focuses on blending humanistic and social scientific methods to better understand how we can improve dialogue and listening with people who are different than ourselves, whether that be based on diverse languages, cultures, abilities, or other ways of engaging the world. Since 2006, Parks has presented her research across the United States, and internationally in countries such as Barbados, Colombia, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. She has published over three dozen peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reports related to language, culture, and listening. Her scholarship has won international and national awards related to ethnicity and race, as well as in innovative communication research. After over a decade of intensive cross-cultural negotiation both in the United States (as an American Sign Language interpreter, since 2001) and internationally (as researcher and coordinator of sign language research in Latin America and the Caribbean with an international community development NGO, from 2006-2012), she firmly believes that our individual, organizational, and community lives are enriched by bravely creating hospitable spaces of listening and understanding across difference. She is committed to helping others understand how the particular values, attitudes, and skills we hone can make cross-cultural dialogue a rich and constructive practice for everyone.

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Professional History

2017 – present  Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Ph.D.  2017, Communication – University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2015 – 2016  Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, Central Oregon Community College
2013 – 2016  Instructor, University of Washington, Department of Communication
M.A.    2013, Communication – University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2006 – 2012  SIL International, Americas Area Sign Language Assessment Research Coordinator
M.A.    2006, Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies – Gallaudet University, Washington D.C.
B.A.     2003, Communication Studies – Creighton University, Omaha, NE
A.A.S.  2001, Sign Language Interpreting – Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, IA

Sampling of Scholarly Activities

Invited Lectures and Workshops
2016. “Cultural fluency: Cultural awareness” Cultural Fluency Faculty Training. Central Oregon Community College. Office of Multicultural Affairs
2016. “Racial hybridity: When is enough, enough?” Can We Talk About Race…and Other Differences. Campus Conversations: Oregon State University Cascades and Central Oregon Community College.
2015. “Listening across difference.”The Wisdom of Listening.Masterclass: First Presbyterian Church. Bend, Oregon.
2015. “Disability, diversity and difference: Listening to what we say and saying what we mean.” Can We Talk About Race…And Other Differences. Campus Conversations: Oregon State University Cascades and Central Oregon Community College.

Refereed Journal Articles
Parks, E.S.
2016. “Language witnessing: An intergenerational cosmopolitan ethic of care for endangered languages.” Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture. 51:1.
Parks, E.S. and L. Nishime. 2016. “Extinction, genealogy, and institutionalization: Challenging normative values in popular endangered language discourse.” Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. 9:3.
Parks, E.S. 2015. “Empathic listening in organizational communication.” Organizational Development Journal. Vol. 33, No. 3. Fall 2015.
Parks, E.S. 2015. “Engaging the discourse of international language identification: A critical discourse analysis of ISO 639-3 sign language change requests.” Critical Issues in Language Studies. 12:2.
Parks, E.S. 2015. “Identifying overlapping language communities: The case of Chiriquí and Panamanian signed languages.” Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication. 34:4.
Parks, E.S. 2013. “Enriching the field of International Communication through sign language research: An analysis of EBSCOhost’s ‘Communication & Mass Media Complete’ Database.” Journal of International Communication. 19:2.
Parks, E. and J. Parks. 2010. “A sociolinguistic profile of the Peruvian deaf community.”  Sign Language Studies. 10:4.
Parks, E.S. 2007. “Treatment of signed languages in Deaf history texts.”  Sign Language Studies. 8:4.

Book Chapters
Parks, E.S. 2016. “Bringing together and setting apart: Christianity’s role in the formation of deaf cultural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean” in Communication and the Global Landscape of Faith. Ed. Adrienne Hacker-Daniels. Lexington Books.
Parks, E. 2014. “National and international deaf cultural identity: Creating symbolic borders through perceived use of American Sign Language” in Language, Borders and Identity. Eds. Dominic Watt and Carmen Llamas. Edinburgh University Press.

Other Writings
Parks, E.S. 2017. “The privilege of listening first” Constructing Intercultural Dialogue, #6. Available from:  https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.org/publications/constructing-intercultural-dialogues-by-number/
Parks, E. S. 2016. “Introduction” to Winter 2016 Issue: The Ethics of Language Development.  Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture. Vol. 51, No. 1.