SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Strategies for the empowerment of Nahuatl speakers in Mexico: The results and impact of several collaborative projects

Justyna Olko & John Sullivan (Warsaw)

Date: 16 January 2018Time: 3:30 PM

Finishes: 16 January 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: 102

Type of Event: Seminar


This paper presents methods and practices, which we developed and implemented while engaging in ethnolinguistic fieldwork in Nahua communities and during the execution of our collaborative research projects (employing historical and modern Nahuatl sources) and capacity-building activities. Essential aspects of our work—conceived as a necessary complement to the research itself—have been the empowerment of native participants and attempts to create spaces for the development of indigenous research methodology. We also discuss the impact of these activities on community-driven initiatives, including the agency of speakers, positive language attitudes and language revitalization. Finally, our paper presents the underlying ideas, activities and results of the 2017 Field School in the Nahua community of San Miguel Xaltipan (Tlaxcala, Mexico), organized as part of the Engaged Humanities project.