Anthropology | Endangered Lang in the Americas - 2nd eight weeks
A200 | 27738 | Suslak


Meets 2nd eight weeks only

According to current estimates, over 1,000 languages are spoken in the
Americas. Almost two hundred of these languages are nearly extinct and
many more are in danger of disappearing. In this seminar we examine
the social and historical processes that have lead to this situation
and the contemporary debates and discourses about what is at stake.
The seminar explores how speakers use language to express their ethnic
identity, national citizenship, and membership in other kinds of
social groups, and asks what it means to lose a language, both for the
speakers and for the rest of the world. We also look at current
efforts to preserve and revive endangered languages. We contrast the
situation of minority languages in Canada, the United States, Mexico,
and Brazil, with a particular focus on southern Mexico, one of the
most linguistically diverse places in North America. The course
features a variety of scholarly and popular and readings about
language endangerment, lectures, as well as regular discussions,
student presentations, and guest speakers.