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.
Mark Turin (PhD, Linguistics, Leiden University, 2006) is an anthropologist, linguist and radio presenter. At the University of British Columbia, Mark serves as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, Acting Co-Director of the University’s new Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology. Before joining UBC, Mark was an Associate Research Scientist with the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University, and the Founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative. He continues to hold an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies. Prior to Yale, Mark worked a Research Associate at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. At UBC, Mark is an Associate Member of the Department of Asian Studies an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Asian Research.
Mark directs both the World Oral Literature Project, an urgent global initiative to document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record, and the Digital Himalaya Project which he co-founded in 2000 as a platform to make multi-media resources from the Himalayan region widely available online. For over twenty years, Mark’s regional focus has been the Himalayan region (particularly Nepal, northern India and Bhutan), and more recently, the Pacific Northwest. Mark is very privileged to have 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 Haíɫzaqv Language Mobilization Partnership in which UBC is a member.