2010 Minority Languages and Cultures Program

Spring Institute


MLCP Spring Institute
May 20-21, 2010
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

The Minority Languages and Cultures of Latin America Program was pleased to host a Spring Institute on Thursday and Friday, May 20-21, 2010, in Bloomington, Indiana, whose purpose was to bring together colleagues located at colleges and universities around the state of Indiana to share ideas and practices related to doing research on and teaching about marginalized populations in Latin America. The MLCP Spring Institute saw participation from colleagues representing several Indiana institutions of higher education, with panels on “Peoples of Mexico,” “Indigenous Languages of Latin America,” “Africa in the Americas,” and “Teaching Latin America.” http://www.indiana.edu/~mlcp/working_groups/Folklore1.jpg

The MLCP Spring Institute featured two keynote addresses:
one by Alan Sandstrom, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, IPFW, titled “Pantheism and Sacred Water Mountains: The Cultural Ecology of Contemporary Aztec Religion,” the other by Serafín Coronel-Molina, Language Education, IU (with Viviana Quintero, University of Michigan), titled "Macro and Micro-sociolinguistics of Indigenous Languages in South America."

There was also a showing of scenes from a new documentary, “Slaves of the Saint,” produced by Kelly Hayes, Religious Studies, IUPUI. Here is Prof Hayes’ description of the film:

“It is primarily about afro-brazilian religions and focuses on practitioners' relationships with a set of unruly spirits called exus.  There is no narrator, so the film lets the practitioners speak for themselves about practices that have typically been stigmatized as black magic. And since these religions are very heterogeneous and fluid, people have different ways of conceptualizing and interacting with the spirits and so they often say contradictory things.”

There were panel sessions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, and a Friday afternoon workshop on “Exploring Latin America through Electronic Resources and Music.”  

See the MLCP Spring Institute schedule here.