Marshall Knudson

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9374

Approve Date

October 7, 2016

Project Title

Knudson, Marshall B., U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Mapuche Language Revitalization and Identity in Urban Chile,' supervised by Dr. Asif Agha

MARSHALL B. KNUDSON, then a graduate student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in October 2016 to aid research on ‘Mapuche Language Revitalization and Identity in Urban Chile,’ supervised by Dr. Asif Agha. Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in and action centered on the language of the Mapuche people in Chile. The lion’s share of language activism occurs not in the rural reservation communities but in the urban diaspora. To examine the relation of language activism on the experience of Mapuche subjectivity, identity, and politics in the urban diaspora in Chile, field research was undertaken between January 2017 and January 2018 using a multi-sited approach, where six months were spent studying the Santiago scene, and another six months spent studying the scene in a major city in the South. Both cities are home to large urban Mapuche populations and are now centers of language activism. Participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and video-ethnography were used over the course of the year spent on projects to promote Mapuche language, culture, and society, through language classes and workshops, public fora and conferences, pedagogical design and planning, officialization campaigns, and efforts at graphemic, lexical, or phonetic standardization. Research revealed how the dynamics of Mapuche groups, the problems of authority, hierarchy, and economy of scarce cultural knowledge interact with the State indigenous development apparatus and education system in the outcomes of different urban language projects.