Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Colloquium: Miki Makihara, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

When: Monday, May 13, 2024
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: 1810 Hinman Avenue, 104, 1810 Hinman Avenue , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Nancy Hickey   (847) 467-1507

Group: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Department

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Rapa Nui Voice, Stance, and Subjectivities 

Language has become a desired object of attention in many indigenous and other minority communities around the world. Yet the objectives and challenges of language revitalization and reclamation efforts are sometimes misrecognized and experienced differently by individual speakers, families, language and political activists, and nation-states. Based on interviews with language activists and three decades of accompanying the Rapa Nui community’s (aka Easter Island, a Polynesian island in Chile) efforts in language maintenance and revitalization, we reflect upon the shifting stancemaking positions that have developed in the community. These include (a) how language activists have come to center attention on a variety of Rapa Nui language, that some have called maitaki  (‘clean and beautiful’) speech, as central to the community’s commitment to genealogical continuity, land reclamation, and community building through language structuration and cherishing, (b) how community members have developed the practices of, and intimacy with, everyday syncretic bilingual ways of speaking but have been persuaded to appreciate the cherished Rapa Nui language, and (c) how the democratizing Chilean state’s evolving stance toward indigenous groups (pueblos originarios) and multiculturalism has come to elevate cherishing the Rapa Nui language, but has fallen short of  supporting revitalization efforts in meaningful ways. 


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