The MLCP includes scholars who share the aim of revitalizing subordinate languages while stimulating long-overdue dialogue between applied linguists, social scientists and policy-makers, on the one hand and historians, anthropologists and cultural critics on the other. In late 2006, through "Working Group Meetings" we began these dialogues.
The interdisciplinary focus of these working group meetings creates a space for creative engagement between indigenous intellectuals and Indiana University scholars working on issues that encompass indigenous politics, cultural performance and language. The role of ethnic markers in the reproduction of local cultures in the era of globalization is especially pertinent. While global processes tend to erode local cultural forms, those same pressures frequently embolden different forms of resistance, often based on the strategic deployment of essentialized ethnic markers.
In an era of increased global flows of people and capital and the concomitant weakening of traditional forms of nation-state sovereignty, the question of how subordinate languages and cultures might survive (however transformed) becomes extraordinarily salient. Our graduate and faculty research is not limited to Latin American minority languages per se but rather probes all subordinate cultural forms and the larger political and economic frameworks in which they operate.
--scroll down for descriptions of each of our working group meetings--
Working Group 2010-2011:
The 2010-2011 MLCP Working Group will commence with two events in October: One, an afternoon chat with writer and activist Dr. Gustavo Esteva from Oaxaca, Mexico on October 4th, 2010 and two, a lecture/discussion centered around defining intangible cultural heritage in Latin America with ethnomusicologist Dr. Anthony Seeger from UCLA on October 21st, 2010 (see coverage, below).
Working Group 2009-2010:
The MLCP Working Group theme for 2009-2010 is on Sustainable Heritage, an outgrowth of our discussion of Cultural Heritage and Politics. We are conducting a series of events -- talks within our core group of faculty and students, invited lectures by outside authorities. Fall 2009 witnessed visits from Dr. Laura Lewis and Dr. Diego Escolar (see coverage, below).
Working Group Meetings:
- Working Group Event with Bret Gustafson and Guillermo de la Peña, April 8, 2010
- Graduate Student Round Table, March 26, 2010
- A conversation with Dr. Elinor Ostrom, March 8, 2010
- “The Huarpe Archives: Indigenous Resilience and Revisionism in 'White' Argentina.”, by Diego Escolar, November 30th, 2009
- “Border Crossings: Southern Guerrero, Migrations, and Black-Indianness”, by Laura Lewis, October 29th, 2009
Working Group 2008-2009:
Cultural Heritage and Politics
The MLCP Working Group theme for 2008-2009 is Cultural Heritage and Politics, a theme that highlights several high-profile issues, including cultural ownership and policy, heritage management, language rights, and the folklorization of tradition. This theme productively connects research on indigenous peoples and on Afro-descendent peoples in Latin America. We plan a series of events -- talks within our core group of faculty and students, invited lectures by outside authorities -- leading up to a symposium or conference on this theme, possibly during the summer of 2009.
Working Group Meetings:
- "The Changing Prospects and Ethical Dilemmas of Fieldwork in Amazonian Peru: Reflections on the Aguaruna Case", by Michael F. Brown, March 4 & 5, 2009
- "Afro-Atlantic Voices: Revisiting Lorenzo Down Turner's 1941 Sound Archive", by Olivia Gomes da Cunha, November 18, 2008"
- "Cultural Heritage and Politics, October 10, 2008"
Working Group 2007-2008:
The initial MLCP Working Group's research focus engaged with one of the most pressing issues in contemporary Latin America-- the struggle for recognition
of indigenous cultures and languages. In the political arena this is witnessed
in the region-wide expansion of social movements oriented toward indigenous rights and sub-national ethnic identity formation. Beyond the fusion
of language, cultural and political studies, environmental anthropologists affiliated with the MLCP used their expertise to provide a geographic
dimension to research on indigenous rights.
Indigenous politics, identity formation, language and cultural expression
Working Group Meetings:
- "Voice and biliteracy in indigenous language revitalization: Contentious educational practices in Quechua, Guarani, and Maori contexts, by Nancy Hornberger, April 19, 2008"
- "Gender and the Public Representation of Indigeneity in Native Amazonia: The Xavante of Central Brazil, by Laura R. Graham, February 29, 2008"
- "Politics of Language in the Production and Reception of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, November 27, 2007"
- "Computational Linguistics in Nahuatl and Mayan Languages, October 2, 2007"
- "Perspectives on Afro-Peruvian Music and Online Quechua and Aymara, September 21, 2007"
- "Using Digital Resources to Promote Minority Language Learning in Chile - Mapudungún and Aymara, April 23, 2007"
- "Reconfiguring the Political Landscape after the Multicultural Turn: Law, Politics, and the Spatialization of Difference in Colombia, April 6, 2007"
- "Mesoamerican Working Group Meeting, February 23, 2007"
- "Curating Heritage in the Americas, February 2, 2007"
- "Quechua Language Resources at Indiana University, November 10, 2006"