Jane Harrison Memorial Lecture

Indigenous Languages: Collaboration & Resurgence
Dr Mark Turin
Chair, First Nations and Endangered Languages Programme & Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Drawing on over two decades of fieldwork in the Himalayan region and recent research partnerships in Canada, in this richly illustrated lecture Dr Mark Turin discusses the steps being taken by indigenous communities who are working to document, preserve and revitalize their traditional languages.

There are comprehensive records for only a tiny proportion of the languages spoken in the world today. While communities and scholars across the globe are engaged in increasingly collaborative research partnerships to record, protect and revive the diversity of human linguistic expressions, thousands of these speech forms are endangered and many will likely cease to be used as spoken vernaculars by the end of this century.

Languages convey unique forms of cultural knowledge. Speech forms encode rich oral traditions. When elders die and livelihoods are disrupted, it is these creative expressions that become threatened. This lecture focuses on the resurgent strength of indigenous languages and the collaborative potential of digital tools and platforms that afford more ethical and transparent research partnerships in the social sciences and humanities.

Free, no booking required, all welcome.