Hegemonies of Language and Their Discontents: The Southwest North American Region Since 1540

Colloquium | March 7 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 2538 Channing (Inst. for the Study of Societal Issues), Wildavsky Conference Room

 Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez, ASU Regents' Professor; Presidential Motorola Professor of Neighborhood Revitalization; Founding Director Emeritus, School of Transborder Studies; Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change; Emeritus Professor of Anthropology of the University, University of Arizona

 Center for Native American Issues Research on

Spanish and English have fought a centuries-long battle for dominance in the Southwest North American Region, commonly known as the U.S.-Mexico transborder region. Covering the time period of 1540 to the present, the book provides a deep and broad understanding of the contradictory methods of establishing language supremacy and details the linguistic and cultural processes used by penetrating imperial and national states. He argues that these impositions were not linear but hydra-headed, complex and contradictory, sometimes accommodating and many times forcefully imposed. Such impositions created arcs of discontent resulting in physical and linguistic revolts, translanguage versions, and multilayered capacities of use and misuse of imposed languages—even the invention of a locally-created trilingual dictionary. These narratives are supported by multiple sources, including original Spanish colonial documents and new and original ethnographic studies of performance rituals like the matachines of New Mexico. This unique work integrates the most recent neurobiological studies of bilingualism and their implications for cognitive development and language as it spans multiple disciplines. Finally, it provides the most important models for dual language development and their integration to the Funds of Knowledge concept—each contributing creative contemporary discontents to monolingual impositions and approaches.

 CA, sollars@berkeley.edu, 5106422337