Sarah Shulist

Sep 22, 2020

Transforming Indigenity

Urbanization and Language Revitalization in the Brazilian Amazon

University of Toronto Press 2018

Transforming Indigenity: Urbanization and Language Revitalization in the Brazilian Amazon (University of Toronto Press) examines the role that language revitalization efforts play in cultural politics in the small city of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, located in the Brazilian Amazon. Sarah Shulist concentrates on how debates, discussions, and practices aimed at providing support for the Indigenous languages of the region shed light on issues of language revitalization and on the meaning of Indigeneity in contemporary Brazil.

São Gabriel has a high proportion of Indigenous people (~85%) and incredible linguistic diversity, with 19 Indigenous languages still being spoken in the city today. Shulist investigates what it means to be Indigenous in this urban and multilingual setting and how that relates to the use and transmission of Indigenous languages. Drawing on perspectives from Indigenous and non-Indigenous political leaders, educators, students, and state agents, and by examining the experiences of urban populations, Transforming Indigeneity provides insight on the revitalization of Amazonian Indigenous languages amid large social change.

Sarah Shulist is an assistant professor of Anthropology at MacEwan University.

Carrie Gillon received her PhD from the Linguistics program at the University of British Columbia in 2006. She is currently an editor and writing coach and the cohost of the Vocal Fries Podcast, the podcast about linguistic discrimination. She is also the author of ​The Semantics of Determiners and the co-author of Nominal Contact in Michif.

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