Dr. Letícia Cesarino
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Letícia Cesarino is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianópolis, Brazil. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. A long-term researcher in the field of Science and Technology Studies, Cesarino has also worked transversally with postcolonial theory, development studies, and cybernetics and systems theory. Her current project focuses on the digitalization of politics in Brazil, in particular the popular mobilization that led to the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. Based on online and offline research, the project aims at a ‘cybernetic explanation’ for the co-production between populist politics, social media, post-truth, and the neoliberal episteme, combining Ernesto Lacau’s theory of populism with elements from systems theory and classic anthropological theory.
Dr. Michel DeGraff
Massachusetts Insititute of Technology
Michel DeGraff, born in Haiti, is Professor of Linguistics at MIT, founder and director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative, and one of the founding members of the Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole Academy) in Haiti. His research has shown that Creole languages are structurally and developmentally on a par with non-Creole languages, notwithstanding age-old “Creole Exceptionalism” dogmas and practices that, in effect, treat Creole languages and their speakers as lesser. In DeGraff’s analyses, “Creole Exceptionalism” is a banal consequence of (neo-)colonial power/knowledge systems—of the same sort that has fueled racism, sexism, and classism in the Caribbean and beyond, including the United States. The MIT-Haiti Initiative has developed a productive framework for the use of Kreyòl, interactive pedagogy, and educational technology as three essential tools for quality education, sustainable development, social justice, and dignified citizenship for all in Haiti. This framework is a model for disenfranchised communities in neo-colonies throughout the world that still lack access to education in their home language.
Dr. Angela Reyes
City University of New York, CLASP-Sponsored Keynote
Angela Reyes is Professor in the Department of English at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), Doctoral Faculty in the Program in Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and Associate Editor for Linguistic Anthropology of American Anthropologist. Combining ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis, Reyes works on theories of semiotics, racialization, and postcoloniality in both the United States and the Philippines. Her current research centers on notions of racial and linguistic mixedness in elite subject formation in the Philippines. Her books include the Oxford Handbook of Language and Race (coedited with H. Samy Alim and Paul Kroskrity; Oxford University Press forthcoming), Discourse Analysis Beyond the Speech Event (coauthored with Stanton Wortham; Routledge 2015), Beyond Yellow English: Toward a Linguistic Anthropology of Asian Pacific America (coedited with Adrienne Lo; Oxford University Press 2009), and Language, Identity, and Stereotype Among Southeast Asian American Youth: The Other Asian (Lawrence Erlbaum 2007).
Dr. Virginia Zavala
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Virginia Zavala is Professor of Linguistics at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Lima, Perú. Since receiving her Ph.D. in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University in 2001, she has held Visiting Professor positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Zavala’s work concerns issues surrounding language and education, with a focus on the Andes. Using a discursive, sociocultural, and ethnographic perspective, her work addresses such topics as intercultural bilingual programs and policies, academic literacies, language ideologies, and language and racialization. In addition to numerous publications in Spanish, which include the book Qichwasimirayku. Batallas por el Quechua (Fondo Editorial PUCP 2014), Zavala has published in journals such as Linguistics and Education, Language Policy, Journal of Language, Identity & Education, and Language, Culture and Society. For the last three years, Zavala has been working with Quechua-speaking youth activists in urban contexts, examining how they are challenging dominant educational discourses to reinvent Quechua within a more inclusive and politicized project.