Mark Turin | Collaborations in Language

Mark Turin | Collaborations in Language

  5 - 6 p.m.
  10 (ISAS Conf. Room) Stephens Hall
Alexander von Rospatt, Mark Turin

Join us for two talks on Nepal-related topics by anthropologists and scholars of Nepal and the Himalayas, Prof. Mark Turin. and Prof. Sara Shneiderman. Mark Turin is chair of the First Nations Languages Program and Associate Professor of Anthropology at UBC. Both have worked in Nepal for more than 20 years and are actively engaged in research projects in rural areas and Sara Shneiderman is Associate Professor in Anthropology and the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.

Talk Abstract
This richly illustrated public lecture focuses on several key partnerships in which Dr. Turin has been involved over the last two decades, with members of historically marginalized, Indigenous communities in the Himalayan region, and increasingly with a committed global community of scholars in print, on air, and online.

Dr. Turin will draw on long-term fieldwork in Nepal and India with speakers of Thangmi, a community whose language has long been effaced from the national record in the states where it is spoken, while also reflecting critically on the decade that he has spent directing two international, interdisciplinary collaborative research initiatives—the Digital Himalaya and World Oral Literature Projects—and more recently, the University of British Columbia’s First Nations and Endangered Languages Program.

The presentation explores issues of orality and orthography, identity and representation. All those interested in learning more about the responsibilities and challenges of long-term community collaboration, co-authorship and applied research are invited to attend.

Speaker Bio: Mark Turin
Mark Turin is an anthropologist, linguist and occasional radio presenter; an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and Acting Co-Director of the University’s new Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. He also holds an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies and served as the Founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative from 2011-2014.

Prof. Turin's research interests are language endangerment, documentation, conservation and revitalization; language policies and politics; orality, archives, digital tools and technology, and cultural heritage broadly conceived. For over twenty years, his regional focus has been the Himalayan region (particularly Nepal, northern India and Bhutan), and more recently, the Pacific Northwest. He has had the opportunity to work in collaborative partnership with members of the Thangmi-speaking communities of eastern Nepal and Darjeeling district in India since 1996, and since 2014 with members of the Heiltsuk First Nation through a Language Mobilization Partnership in which UBC is a founding member.

Prof. Turin directs two international research initiatives, Digital Himalaya and the World Oral Literature Project, and edits the Oral Literature Series with the Open Book Publishers. Together with Sienna Craig, from 2013-2017, he edited Himalaya, the longest running, open access, interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal of Himalayan studies. He has designed and presented two BBC Radio series on language endangerment and policy: Our Language in Your Hands in 2012 and On Language Location in 2014. Both are freely available online. He is one of three principal investigators on a five-year collaborative research project supported by the Arcadia Fund to document and protect Bhutan's oral traditions, a Co-Investigator on Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada entitled First Nations Languages in the 21st Century: Looking Back, Looking Forward and a Co-Investigator on a NASA-funded grant on Urban growth, land-use change, and growing vulnerability in the Greater Himalaya mountain range.

Prof. Turin writes about language policy, linguistic rights, digital technologies, cultural heritage and mother tongue instruction. He also focuses on issues of access and ownership of anthropological materials from ethnographic museums when they circulate online or are returned to communities in digital form. As a firm advocate of collaborative research, He is committed to widening public engagement with anthropology and linguistics. To that end, he serves on the Advisory Board of SAPIENS.

Read more about Prof. Turin at his Faculty Page.

The second talk of the evening will be delivered by Prof. Sara Shneiderman titled, Restructuring Life: Agencies and Infrastructures in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster State of Transformation.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

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Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.