Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
103 Folwell Hall
This talk will be based on ethnographic research about a language policy favoring Quechua in the Apurímac region of the southern Peruvian Andes, which has developed in the context of the decentralization of the central government since 2000. At least at the level of official policy documents, the region is being imagined as a community of apurimenians unified by the local language, which creates an emotional identification with the region. In this talk, I will analyze the power relationships that are constructed between a community of practice of Quechua "experts" and the rest of Quechua-speaking people from Apurímac. Although the declared wish is to build a regional "us", Quechua experts interpret and negotiate language policy from particular language and literacy ideologies and end up establishing identity divisions between "us" and "them" through tactics of intersubjectivity based on difference, authority and authenticity (Bucholtz 2003). This work follows earlier studies about language ideological battles in relation to Quechua and shows that, after several decades, the former top-down language policies coming from the capital city are now being reproduced within the Quechua-speaking social actors themselves, and the conflict has diversified into new dilemmas.
Further information at: http://z.umn.edu/zavala