Final Week in Cusco

I spent my final week in Cusco finishing my Quechua course and doing last-minute fieldwork and research before my departure for Lima.  Last Monday, I made a trip to the Dirección Regional de Cultura in Cusco to interview Juan Julio García Rivas, the director.  I asked him to offer his personal opinions and knowledge on a variety of issues related to my project, such as the meaning of Quechua in Peru today, the agenda of the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, and issues of writing and translation.  His responses contained an interesting mix of fantasy and wisdom; while he did describe Quechua as “one of the few cultural and material manifestations that remains of our pre-Hispanic past” (translated), he also expressed a need to equalize Quechua and Spanish in Peruvian society and eliminate the double standard that designates Quechua in certain instances as a symbol of Incan glory and in other instances as a marker of racial and socioeconomic inferiority.  He also denounced the preoccupation with the writing of Quechua as a “Western problem” and advocated the revalorization of Quechua as a viable, living language that provides benefit to the speaker rather than the language of remote Andean communities.  It was a useful interview for the insight it provided on official stances on Quechua and the various factors at play in modern-day Cusco and its relationship with the Quechua language.

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Getting Started (Part 1)

Over the course of the past three weeks I have spend the majority of my time collecting data to advance three specific areas of Professor Sohoni’s research on the immigrant-crime nexus. In an attempt to keep this blog post clear and [somewhat] organized, I will first explain the topics I have been researching and how the information found thus far pertains to the initial steps in my work with Professor Sohoni. I will then reflect on the beginning steps of my research experience and discuss new topics (related to the immigrant-crime nexus) that are of interest to me.

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