30 September 2021: Emiliana Cruz (CIESAS): “Hiking to Document the Wisdom, Knowledge, and Memories of the Elders of San Juan Quiahije: An Interdisciplinary and Pedagogical Approach”


I will discuss my project to document the language and landscape of San Juan Quiahije, Oaxaca, Mexico. I will focus on how elders share stories about the local community and themselves while on hikes through the local physical landscape. Exchanges between young people and elders who are familiar with the territory are diminishing. As a result, although most of San Juan Quiahije speaks Eastern Chatino, few young people learn the specialized vocabulary of flora, fauna, and place names. In this presentation, I will explain my work with local elders and young people to generate interest in San Juan Quiahije in the stories of elders.

You can re-watch the lecture here:




Emiliana Cruz was born in Cieneguilla, San Juan Quiahije, Oaxaca, Mexico, and is a native speaker of San Juan Quiahije Eastern Chatino. She is a linguistic anthropologist, earning her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2011, and now is Professor-Researcher at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico City. Her research trajectories are diverse and interdisciplinary, emphasizing education, linguistic rights, territory, documentation and linguistic revitalization. She has received the Distinguished Community Engagement Award from the University of Massachusetts for her Chatino Language Documentation Project. Cruz’s extensive experience with community collaboration is the hallmark of her work. She is a founding member of the collective, Dialogues among Indigenous Academics. Her more recent publications include Evitemos que nuestro futuro se nos escape de las manos: tomás cruz lorenzo y la nueva generación chatina, a product of collaboration among Chatinos; and Theoretical Reflections Around the Role of Fieldwork in Linguistics and Linguistic Anthropology: Contributions of Indigenous Researchers from Southern Mexico.