Convener: Dr Mark Turin (World Oral Literature Project/Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
A two-day collaborative workshop bringing together university-based
researchers, heritage specialists and community organisations to draft and
design a web catalogue and online map of existing resources on endangered oral
There is a growing sense of public
and scholarly concern about the future of orally transmitted knowledge in the
face of rapid socio-economic change. Linguists have responded decisively to the
threatened disappearance of many endangered speech forms by embarking on urgent
documentation projects, training a new generation of field linguists, and
partnering with members of speech communities engaged in the preservation and
revitalisation of their threatened tongues. The anthropological community has
now begun to craft its own response to these challenges.
In 2010, with support from the
British Academy, researchers at the World Oral Literature Project collated
three existing datasets on language endangerment levels with reference to
collections and recordings of oral literature in archives around the world.
This fully searchable database is now freely available online.
Building on the public interest
shown in this initial scoping exercise, our Charting Vanishing Voices workshop is
conceived as a global mapping initiative to visualise and represent levels of
cultural and linguistic endangerment. Using a live Wiki and other collaborative
online tools, workshop participants will work together to produce a draft index
of oral cultures that both reflects the level of documentation and assesses
threats to the vitality of such verbal arts. After short position papers at the
outset, participants will be encouraged to overcome the theoretical and
methodological tensions of this collaborative exercise by embracing the
disciplinary knowledge of their colleagues, and working collectively to produce
a dynamic and timely online resource.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to express your interest in
Click here to visit the workshop webpage.