The High Academy of the Quechua Language (HAQL) in Cuzco, Peru: Its Time, Space, Form, and Function

Sunday, January 8, 2012: 11:00 AM
Chicago Ballroom B (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Serafín Coronel-Molina, Indiana University
Founded in 1953, The High Academy of the Quechua Language (HAQL) is a Peruvian organization committed to the preservation and revitalization of Quechua. In Peru, the Academy is well known for the zeal of its members, who firmly believe that Quechua can and should be saved from extinction and that, on account of their own authority and expertise, they should take the lead in its revitalization. The purpose of this presentation is to examine these assumptions, their underlying ideologies, and the ways in which they have influenced the decisions and practices of the Academy. The analysis focuses on the organization’s nationalistic bent, its linguistic ideologies, the construction of its expertise, and the tensions that exist both among its members and between them and other actors. It is argued that the Quechua Academy’s stances and practices conspire against its own ability to make a lasting contribution to the revitalization of Quechua, obstruct the efforts of other agencies and experts who are also working to promote the language, and are infused with class values that alienate the Quechua-speaking people they claim to serve. I will also examine the relationship between the HAQL and the Peruvian State, tracing the trajectory of its foundation and quest for official recognition.
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