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Taking a historical view , the authors reviewed 40 years of dissertation research by deaf scholars (1973–2013) related to reading. Using a qualitative interpretive analysis approach (J. Smith & Osborn, 2003), the authors selected 31 dissertations as primary texts, reviewing them for themes over five time periods. The first finding was a trend of themes on communication methodology in the 1970s (first period), to English reading skills in the 1980s (second period), to American Sign Language/English bilingualism to support acquisition of English literacy during the third, fourth and fifth periods (1990–2013). The second finding was that most of the dissertations used a combination of qualitatively similar and qualitatively different epistemologies in their research. These two findings are related to (a) the role of the deaf reading researcher, (b) historical and current trends in reading research, and (c) the qualitative similarity hypothesis (Paul, Wang, & Williams, 2013).