Accessing archival materials for community-based language documentation and revitalization

Colleen Fitzgerald
Daisy Rosenblum
Mikael Willie

Course days, time, and location:
6/22, 6/23, & 6/24
3:30 - 5:15
Pacific, Room 111

Course Information:
This workshop will provide an orientation to the vastly useful resources for language revitalization available in archival collections, from family photo albums to national museums. Workshop participants will come away from the course knowing where to look for previous documentation of their language and culture, what to look for, how to access and interpret such materials, how to digitize and store data once it has been recovered, and how these materials can serve as tremendous assets to the documentation and revitalization of language and culture. Time permitting, hands-on exercises will supplement presentations. Participants are encouraged to bring in materials, data and questions relevant to current projects. Archival materials present many challenges, but they have tremendous value in their cultural, historical, and personal content, and in their linguistic content.  We anticipate this course will have value and appeal for both language activists and linguists. The course content and case studies are designed with both groups in mind. The instructors themselves represent both community members/language activists (Mikael Willie, Dzawada'enuxw Researcher and Culture Program Coordinator, Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School) and linguists (Daisy Rosenblum, doctoral student at The University of California, Santa Barbara and Colleen Fitzgerald, faculty at The University of Texas at Arlington), thereby bringing in diverse perspectives.

Course Documents:

Handout of Useful Links: Organizations, Archives, Collections, Funding, Readings, and Other Resources  
Online Resources: Organizations, Archives, Collections, Funding, Readings and Other Resources  
Terminology Useful for Conducting Archival Research  
Sample grant application  

Session 1 - Archives: A Storage Box of Tradition  
Session 3 - Working With Legacy Manuscripts and Materials  

Readings (zip file)  

Instructor(s) Bio:
Colleen M. Fitzgerald is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Linguistics and TESOL at The University of Texas at Arlington.  She works with Tohono O’odham (Papago), a Native American language in the Uto-Aztecan family which is spoken in the southwestern United States.  She works in phonology, as well as in language documentation and revitalization. She is especially in documentation and revitalization uses for legacy/archival materials.  In addition to publishing in those areas, some recent research also includes work on pedagogy and multiculturalism, with particular interest in service-learning.  She is currently also developing language partnerships in the Oklahoma area with tribes and local colleges/universities.

Daisy Rosenblum is a doctoral student in linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work focuses on collaborative, community-based documentation and description of interactive speech in the Mayan and Wakashan families for the purpose of maintenance and revitalization. Her research interests include prosody, argument structure, deixis, grammars of space and time, and the multi-modal interactions among them. She is currently working with members of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation in British Columbia to record, transcribe and analyze multiple genres of spontaneous speech in three dialects of Kwak'wala. Their project gaχdzolaṁoχ ʔəʔedəʔaqaʔ "It finally came back" situates language documentation as an opportunity for revitalization-in-practice as team members use diverse research methods, including mapping, oral history interviews and archival research, to reanimate traditional knowledge and create educational materials for Kwak'wala learners.

Mikael Willie is a dzawadaʔenuxʷ researcher and the Culture Program Coordinator at the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School. He has been conducting archival research since he was in high school. Mike is actively reviving cultural ceremonies at a community level. He is a lead
researcher for several linguistic and cultural documentation and revitalization projects, including gaχdzolam'oχ ʔəʔedəʔaqaʔ 'It finally came back', using photographs from museum archives to create a corpus of audio and video recordings of interactive speech in kʷak'ʷala. (This project emerged from work begun at InField 2008.) The project is currently underway in Tsulquate and Gway'i (Kingcome Inlet), British Columbia.

                                              Updated July 20, 2010 at 12:15 am