Critical Ethnic Studies 240
Language: The Colonial and Imperial Difference
With recognition and respect, I live and work in the Council of the Three Fires – the Ojibwe, the Odawa, and the
Potawatomi traditional and unceded territories.
MWF 2:45 PM- 4:00PM
Dewing Hall, 200 Lecture
Cyndy Margarita García-Weyandt, Ph.D. (Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers/Ella)
Office Hours: By appointment only
Humphrey Hall Room 206 or Teams
Invited Language Instructor:
Holden Day (Pronouns: He/Him/His)
Office/Consultation Hours: TBD
Office Hours: By Appointment (Online or in-person)
This course is an interdisciplinary survey course designed to introduce students to the study of language and power. Our primary objective will be to assert linguistic rights and interrogate language politics considering colonization, imperialism, and the transit of empire. We will consider ideas and practices of literacy, language revitalization, translation, and identity. These explorations will serve to counter monoculture and monolingualism often invoked in nationalist projects. Additionally, we will learn about the efforts of communities and the right to speak heritage languages around the globe. Students will investigate the myriad of tools utilized to revitalize languages. We will learn from Indigenous speakers about their efforts for language revitalization and preservation of language. Finally, students will develop proposals for innovative tools for language revitalization.
This quarter we will be learning from Native speakers and scholars about their experiences in language revitalization. Our two areas of study will include speakers in the Algonquian language family (Potawatomi language “Bodéwadmi Zheshmowen”) and the Uto-Aztecan family (Naáyeri, Yoeme, Wixárika, and Mexikan).
Additionally, this class is part of the Fall 2022 cluster focused in collaboration with SEMN 132- Radical Belongings, SEMN 163- About US: Disability Stories/Disability Rights, SEMN 182- Wheels of Change, ENGL 155- Identities Home and Belonging, and SEMN 495- Finding a Home in the World. We will collaborate with the cluster to understand the topics of “Land, Home, and Homemaking” emphasizing the themes of “Location and Dislocation,” “home and belonging.” Our primary focus will be learning about the Potawatomi language “Bodéwadmi Zheshmowen” speakers, language revitalization efforts, and how language connects us to our identities, belonging, and homelands.
We will examine the role of language and language reclamations efforts in making sense of belonging to this place, Kalamazoo. We will grapple with the challenges of belonging, communal spaces, and occupying Native land as migrant communities and non-Indigenous of this land. The main goal is to understand in a practical way how we become part of this community through community-based work rooted in social justice and social change. Specifically, we will explore the themes through language practices and language workshops. Alongside our community partners, students will learn how Native speakers challenge colonial structures of power to maintain language alive. For this, students learn how Language reclamation efforts play a crucial role in belonging and homeland outside colonial notions of homemaking. Through students’ participation in Potawatomi language “Bodéwadmi Zheshmowen” languages workshops, volunteer work, and community events (Día de Los Muertos Festival @ El Concilio and the Harvest Festival @ The Hoop House), we will learn how our verbal practices, bodily practices, activism in language reclamation projects, and allyship help us remake “motherland” (“Madre Tierra”) belong to this space and time though remembering our ancestrxs. Additionally, students will volunteer at El Concilio in the different programs to understand how migrant communities organize and provide services for Spanish-speaking families here in Kalamazoo.
Using the literature from class and outside sources, students produce 1) a file for our language revitalization archive, 2) language revitalization tools for a language revitalization program, 3) a report regarding a community’s effort in language revitalization projects, and 4) a reflection on how language frames our understanding of belonging.
*This quarter we will focus on the Potawatomi language “Bodéwadmi Zheshmowen” ONLY.
Many of our conversations in class will challenge ideas we have about ourselves and our place in the world. Please practice respect and patience towards each other. We are collectively creating knowledge. This course will cover various topics and issues that may bring up strong feelings. Be mindful of how you communicate your feelings. Your preparation and active participation will determine the quality of our sections. Together we will work to make our class a non-violent shared space by avoiding comments that are racist, sexist, misogynist, ableist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic (anti-migrant), Islamophobic, fatphobic, or discriminatory/disrespectful in any other way including in terms of languages and language practices of any community.
In our class, we will discuss the text and analyze the different themes and theories. Using the text, specific quotes, and examples from the text we will enthusiastically engage in a discussion to unpack the material. I encourage you to be critical of the readings and not criticize the authors. In other words, critique the ideas, not the person. Be mindful that scholars also have different layers of identities, and one single author cannot do research on EVERYTHING. We will participate in different activities to critically engage in the course readings. The student is responsible to prepare notes and come to class with all the readings completed before each session. You are responsible for the preparation and completion of all assignments before the due dates. Each student will be responsible for guiding the discussion of the day however ALL students should prepare the same way to discuss the readings.
** Each class will require approximately two to three hours of careful and systematic preparation and studying (6-9 hours per week). Without sufficient time and solid study skills/habits, you will struggle to pass this class. Please be mindful of the time you spend preparing for this class without reading the course material students will struggle with the themes. Additionally, preparation and studying mean you engage in meaningful conversation inside and outside the classroom to fully grasp the material.
*** Please let me know if you go by a different name and/or pronoun(s) than what is on your Kalamazoo College record, so I can address you by the name/pronoun of your choice.
This quarter, we will create our CES 240 community. This means that we are learning with and from each other including your instructors and TA. Be respectful of everyone even if they do not belong to your own community. This is a CES course, and the main goal is to be in conversation to learn about co-existence, allyship, and community. Aim to be in the community. Show up for your community!
Readings: Some readings are available as PDFs on Teams or Moodle. Please consult the syllabus for the schedule of reading assignments. Readings are due before our Monday lecture. You must bring your notes, questions, and comments every Monday class to follow our lecture and discussion. Without reading you will struggle to pass the course. Be active and learn as much as possible from the readings.
Lakoff and Johnson, The Metaphors We Live By
Teresa L. McCarty, Language Planning and Policy in Native America: History, Theory, Praxis
Potawatomi language dictionary:
Assignment Point Values
|Archive of Language Revitalization and Language Revitalization Tool (Due 2/6)||20 points|
|Reading Responses (5 entries 2pts each)||10 points|
|Community-based Language Workshops Journal Entries/Reflections (5 Journal Entries for 2 points each one)||10 points|
|Final Report/Proposal (Due 3/15)||30 points|
|Attendance/Participation/Preparation/Volunteer Work (Due Week 10)||30 Points|
Course Grade Schema
|59% or below||F|
Archive of Language Revitalization and Language Revitalization Tool:
Total points: 20 points (five for choosing an endangered language; fifteen for content; five for applicability of language revitalization; five for formatting)
Every week students will meet in class to discuss the different efforts of language revitalization around the globe. From the different in-class examples, visit any language search engine such as ethnologue.com or the Linguistic Atlas Project, 7000.org, Where Are Your Keys or any others. You can also explore past archives of Endangered Language Resources.
Do a search for a language, specifically an endangered language of the world. In the archive add sections to 1) Describe the language (specific characteristics), 2) Describe the speakers (culture, location, and/or geography), 3) Other contact languages, 4) Language revitalization efforts (if any), 5) Any other important aspect of the language and the speakers, and 6) Discuss topics of “Land, Home, and Homemaking,” “Location and Dislocation,” and “home and belonging” through the eyes of the community of study.
Students should pay note that this assignment reflects research completed outside of the course readings. Please visit the Kalamazoo College Library Research Guides for more research tools. Finally, write a report with the information on the language. Organize reports by themes or categories.
Students are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the language to think in a greater context about: 1) the difference between Indo-European languages and other languages (e.g., Uto-Aztecan languages), 2) The politics behind the language of choice, culture/identity, and the personal connections with language if any, and 3) different language projects and the efforts of language revitalization. The main goal is to become familiar with one endangered language and understand why people are not speaking, teaching, or producing speech in this language.
Language Revitalization Tool Proposal
After doing research on an endangered language, do a search on the different tools for language revitalization. Using the readings and online search as samples, we will create/develop or improve a tool for language revitalization for your language of choice. For the development of this tool, you can consider the difficulties of learning a language, the challenges, the accessibility to technology to its speakers, and other relevant aspects/factors. Be creative and use all the resources available online and research tools online. This is just a proposal of a tool, and you should include the type of funding available for the development of the tool. Search for some grants and/or potential grants on campus to complete this language tool.
Additionally, each student will contribute to the recompilation of tools for the Wixárika language to develop a Wiki for Indigenous languages. Review the current sources and add some entries for the Proyecto Taniuki (“Our Language Project”) a Wixárika collective. For more details visit Proyecto Taniuki or @taniukizitakua
Total points: 10 points: Five Entries two points for entry (Reading Response #1 Due 9/18, Reading Response #2 Due 10/2, Reading Response #3 Due 10/16, Reading Response #4 Due 10/30, Reading Response #5 Due 11/13).
Provide a Reading Response on one or more pieces from the class. Each entry must consist of a minimum of three paragraphs, each containing five-six sentences (500 words minimum). The Journal Entries must include three-five sentences summarizing the article, two-three sentences relating the article to course material, and two-three sentences providing your opinion of/reaction to the reading. Students must submit their responses on the class website every Sunday no later than midnight. These Journal Entries are designed to expand your knowledge of the literature and deepen your summarizing and analytical skills. They also encourage you to make connections between a reading and your own ideas. These reports are informal: conceptualize them as “rough drafts” or “non-polished” pieces of writing.
Some questions to consider while writing the online response:
- What are the relevant issues surrounding the class themes?
- Why do you agree (or disagree) with the ideas you have read?
- In what ways have you witnessed the ideas in the article “in action?”
- How are the ideas in the article congruent with or contradictory to other articles?
- What practical application does the article have for your life?
(Due Sunday before Midnight Reflection #1 Week 5; Reflection #2 Week 6; Reflection #3 Week 7; Reflection #4 Week 8; Reflection #5 Week 9)
Each Journal Entry must consist of a minimum of three paragraphs, each containing five-six sentences (500 words minimum). The Journal Entries must include three-five sentences summarizing the workshop or guest speaker presentation, two-three sentences relating the article to course material, and two-three sentences providing your opinion of/reaction to the workshop and/or presentation (Please see Moodle for specific guiding questions to approach this
assignment) Students must post their reflections on the class website every Sunday no later than midnight. These Journal Entries are designed to expand your knowledge of the topics, and the literature, and deepen your summarizing and analytical skills. They also encourage you to make connections between a reading and your own ideas. These reports are informal: conceptualize them as “rough drafts” or “non-polished” pieces of writing.
After posting, each student is required to engage in an online discussion by responding to one other Online Post. Some questions to consider while writing the online response:
- What are the relevant issues surrounding the class themes?
- Why do you agree (or disagree) with the ideas you have read?
- In what ways have you witnessed the ideas in the workshop/presentation “in action?”
- How are the ideas in the workshop/presentation congruent with or contradictory to otherarticles?
- What practical application does the workshop/presentation have for your life?
Final Report/Proposal (Due 11/18)
Total points: 30 points (twenty-five for content and five for formatting)
All students must work during the quarter toward the completion of a paper that: (1) thoroughly examines course themes; (2) analyzes course materials; (3) three outside scholarly sources; (4) includes Chicago Style endnotes and bibliography; (5) includes a section on the interconnection between the student and their language of choice. This paper is a reflection on the experiences in class, workshops, and important information each of you will collect from the readings, language archive, language revitalization tool proposal, and grant writing. Please make sure you understand the assignment. All the assignments in class build into this final report.
These final papers will be no less than ten pages (meaning that the paper extends to the final line of the twelfth page). The maximum paper length is twelve pages. In other words, you are responsible for editing a paper to be between ten to twelve pages long. The results of your research must be in written form. Students must follow the formatting guide available on the class website (Moodle). Students should also expect to discuss in section meetings not only the content of the course readings but also how to write as a means of critical thinking, rather than an outcome of critical thinking. In other words, students will be asked to discuss their writing process and offer examples of writing drafts to the class on a regular basis.
Total Points: 30 points; Due Week 10
These 30 points are earned as follows:
1) Please be on time for our meetings! Check the attendance box in Teams or the signing sheet in each session. Classroom attendance helps to monitor active participation. We have 29 required days of class and out of the 29 possible signatures/checkmarks, all students are allowed to miss two classes without any impact on their final grade.
2) Be active in class! Your active participation counts as part of your attendance. Speak up, share your thoughts, ask questions, and participate in our class activities. You earn one point every day you are in class and actively participate. Each student must present in class one of the assigned readings/articles. Sign up for presentations during Week 1. Additionally, during certain sections, I will have a question, a quote, a song, a poem, a picture, or a news article for you to make a connection with the week’s readings and key concepts. You need to write your thoughts and ideas in a 1/2 page to 1 full page handwritten and turned in during class after the exercise. This will also count towards your participation grade for the day. Later you will write on the board relevant quotes, ideas, page numbers, or keywords to discuss as a class.
3) Show up for your community! To get full points for Attendance/Participation/Volunteer Work you must visit your site once per week. We will begin placing students on sites during week 2. We will go together to the site (K College will provide transportation), and we will collaborate with our partners in their different activities. Please also share your availability for the volunteer schedule with TA.
Communication & Email Etiquette
If you feel yourself falling behind, or are stressing out, please email your instructor. Let me know what is going on. On the other hand, if you want to know my office hours or the due dates for class assignments, check the course website (Moodle) or the syllabus before messaging me. Please allow 24 hours during business days (Monday-Friday) for me to respond to your questions and/or concerns. If you email over the weekend, please anticipate a delayed response. In the heading, please note the course name and the general topic of your email (Examples: CES 240 Question).
Some of us are shy and some are more talkative, so please be mindful of the ways you are taking up space during the discussion: are you dominating the conversation? Have you been completely silent? Try to make meaningful contributions to enrich your and everyone else’s experience. Here are some ways you can participate: ask/answer questions, participate in group work, write down your thoughts in class, and come to office hours to discuss ideas with me. There will be several in-class exercises including games, group work, presentations, etc. You will receive full credit for your active participation throughout the entire quarter.
*Please Note: For online courses, you can raise your hand using the tools in Teams or simply unmute your microfine to ask a question.
In this course, we will collaborate with each other following the College Honor System. For this, we will treat each other with respect, we will nurture independent ideas, we will take responsibility for personal behavior, and we will accept environmental responsibilities. Academic honesty is a crucial aspect of our values system at Kalamazoo College. If you want to utilize ideas from an author acknowledge the source. For full policy, feel free to visit the Student Development site.
Any assignment that is turned in after the due day/time will receive a 1.5-point deduction per twenty-four-hour period late. The final paper, however, will receive a 2-point deduction per twenty-four-hour period late.
Students needing academic accommodations based should contact the Dean of Students Office. Please visit: Student Development or call the Associate Dean of Students Office (269) 337-7209.
Kalamazoo College Counseling Center
Kalamazoo College recognizes that there may be times, as a college student, when personal stressors interfere with your academic performance and your daily life. The K College Counseling Center supports students by addressing mental and emotional well-being and provides FREE and confidential short-term individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, outreach, and referral services. To schedule an appointment, please visit the Counseling Center and complete an intake form on one of the iPads in the lobby or email email@example.com. Our Counseling Center is located on the 1st floor of Hicks West next to the Health Center. Visit the Counseling Center site to learn more about our services and to access online resources.
The Learning Commons is a network of peer support available to help you with a variety of skills and disciplines. The Writing Center, Research Consultant Center, and Center for New Media Design are on the first floor of Upjohn Library. Our English as a Second Language and Learning Specialist support programs are located there as well. The Math-Physics Center is in Olds Upton Hall. It is my observation that students who frequent these centers generally learn more and receive higher grades, so I encourage you to use them early and often. You can find more information about each of these centers at the Learning Commons site.
The Intercultural Student Life: Mission Statement “Through advocacy, education, and relationship-building, the Office of Intercultural Student Life (ISL) at Kalamazoo College strives to cultivate an inclusive campus culture that celebrates our community’s many differences while affirming our shared interconnections. ISL organizes programs, initiatives, and dialogues that center on the lived experiences and voices of minoritized students. Recognizing the value that our pluralistic and globally representative campus provides, the Office of Intercultural Student Life works with a range of stakeholders to foster a network of support that ensures all of our students can grow (academically, socially, and personally) through meaningful engagement across difference.” Learn more at the Intercultural Student Life site.
New Orleans Research Project
The objective of the project is to develop an original interpretation of the relationship of memory to some aspects of African diasporic history and culture in New Orleans. Students can choose their projects, but projects must be designed with the assistance and approval of the professor. The research paper should be no less than 20 pages in length. I suggest you use this assignment to start thinking about the project you will be working on during the December experiential experience in New Orleans. I suggest reviewing the websites of our New Orleans community partners as a source of inspiration for ideas and topics for your papers.
Your paper will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Understanding of the concept, idea, or issue that you have chosen to investigate; and
- Ability to draw upon, analyze and use the knowledge gained from the research in making an argument;
- Clarity of writing (punctuation, grammar, sentence construction, spelling);
- Formatting and style (use of standard in-text citation and referencing system).
Paper Proposal and Bibliography
To facilitate the task of the final project, you will complete two preliminary assignments geared toward developing the final research question and kick-starting the research process.
The first part of the preliminary assignment is a 2-page paper proposal. The proposal will describe the research topic and formulate the research question the paper intends to pursue. When writing the research proposal, imagine the audience as scholars interested in the subject but unfamiliar with it. The goal is to give a good overview of the topic and get the audience excited about the project. Please schedule a meeting to discuss your paper proposal as soon as possible.
The second part of the goal of the bibliography will help you start the research process and begin thinking critically about the different writings on your topic. You will prepare an annotated bibliography of no less than 10 peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject.
You may use class readings as part of your bibliography.
Final paper presentation
During 9th and 10th week, students present the results of their research to the class
reading and course assignment schedule
Email Exchange-Peer Editors
We will be constantly writing in our class. I recommend you make one or two friends from the section on your first day of class. This is a great exercise to find a Peer Editor for your assignments
*Also, if you need to contact your peers for support. Collaborating with colleagues is part of learning. This is not a competition!
New friend: __________________New friend’s email: ____________________
New friend: ___________________New friend’s email: __________________
Niñas del Corazón at El Concilio
The after-school program, Niñas del Corazón, has the mission to help Latinx girls (8-15 years old) and families heal from acculturation, language barriers, environmental high-risk factors, and disparities. El Concilio and The Community Healing Center joined forces to design a program to benefit Latinx girls; through a four-stage program, adolescent girls will have the opportunity to get in deep conversations about social-emotional skills, life skills, and good choices as well as engage in community volunteer work. Parents will also be included since they’re key to healthy youth development.
- Mondays- Thursdays from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. (At least one hour per day for at least two days)
- 1-3 K students will be chosen for this placement (female-identified students, tutoring math and science)
Tutoring Program at El Concilio
The Tutoring Program is an after-school program designed to help children in the Latino community with their homework or any other academic assistance they might need. Tutors can help with Math, Reading, English, Spelling, Science, History, and many other subjects as well. Talking about events in South and Central America, as well as Hispanic leaders and cultures around the world is encouraged.
- Monday and Thursday from 5 pm – 6 pm with the Elementary School group
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 pm – 6 pm with Middle and High School group
- No limit – Default placement (Sep 26th-Nov 18th)
Danza folklórica at El Concilio
Danza Folklórica is a space for youth to connect and explore their Hispanic roots; It started ayear ago as an initiative of two young college sisters who are passionate about teaching traditional Mexican dances. Currently, a mom who is a leader in the community is running this group, teaching Mexican dances to about 17 boys and girls between 4 to 15 years old. Their goal is to perform these dances at different community events to share the Hispanic traditions with
new people. Another goal of the Folkloric Dance group is to strengthen their goal-directed behavior as well as their self-management skills.
- Friday 5-7 PM
- 1-2 K students will be chosen for this placement
ESL (English as a second language) for adults
In partnership with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council and Kalamazoo Public Schools Adult Education, El Concilio is hosting ESL classes at our building
- Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 pm – 8 pm (At least one day
- 1-2 K students will be chosen for this placement
Proposal for an alternative site or project
Discuss with Cyndy and TA if you currently do volunteer work with an org.
If you, for any reason, cannot volunteer at any site please talk to Cyndy and TA about alternative projects before Friday of Week 1 for approval.