Quechua, Indigenous language revitalization and Global Indigeneity
Are Indigenous languages and cultures a thing of the past? Although Indigenous peoples make up less than 6% of the global population, they speak more than 4,000 of the world’s approximately 6,700 languages. At the same time, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues indicates that two Indigenous languages die every two months. Indigenous Language reclamation is crucial to the identity and resistance efforts of many communities: additionally, this process contributes to the preservation of Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), a series of practices and wisdoms developed within Indigenous societies from across the world. Nowadays, IKS engage in global conversations on social and environmental justice, climate change, decolonization, human rights, education, etc.This seminar will explore the state of Indigenous language and culture revitalization, official and Indigenous grassroots language planning and policy initiatives at global and local platforms, and the particular study of Quechua language. The language-learning component of this course aims to provide a more holistic and practical approach of the course’s theme. Quechua is the most spoken Indigenous language family in the Americas, with almost 10 million speakers in Latin America and with important diasporic populations in the United States, Spain and Italy.Community testimonies, guest speakers (scholars, language activists and teachers), multimedia content, interdisciplinary readings, and class debates will be part of the dynamics of this course. This is a speaking seminar, open to all students, that will promote oral communication and critical thinking skills through discussions, projects, and prepared presentations. No previous knowledge of Quechua is required.