UMD: A Globally Connected University

Spring 2018 - ANTH461: Language as Practice

ANTH 461: Language as Practice

Time: Monday 2:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Location: WDS 1114

Instructor: Janet Chernela

Credits: 3

Partner Institution: Universidade do Estado do Amazonas (UEA), Brazil
Formerly: ANTH468I

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Course Description: An introduction to linguistic variation and the construction of identity, relationship, and community membership through language use. The approach emphasizes language as community-based practice and examines the dynamic construction of social relations through linguistic interactions.


Award Year: 2014
Name of Faculty: Janet Chernela
Title and Affiliation: Professor of Anthropology
Title of Proposed Course: Indigenous People and Conservation
Partner Institution: Universidade do Estado do Amazoas (UEA) 
and Universidade de Brasilia (UnB)


This project will transform a course previously taught under a field school format in Brazil, using video and audio conferencing technology to allow UMD students who are not able to travel to collaborate with peers at two universities - Universidade do Estado do Amazoas (UEA) and Universidade de Brasilia (UnB)—and with indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Working in virtual teams mixing students from the three universities, they will consider how peoples form alliances with NGOs to generate local income, protect nature, and safeguard human rights. Team projects will explore traditional indigenous knowledge and land management, new contributions by indigenous peoples to changing landscapes, the legal mechanisms and instruments through which indigenous peoples have rights to the resources they occupy and utilize, and the organizations created by them to articulate with international bodies established to mitigate the impacts of climate change.​