Summer 2013 Ethnographic and Linguistic Field School in Ecuador
You can also read about the Summer 2009: Ecuador. See also the Appalachian's coverage of the 2009 program here and the Appalachian Today's coverage here.
June 1-July 1, 2013
THE DEADLINE HAS PASSED (NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)
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ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In its fifth year, this program will give students the opportunity to travel to beautiful Ecuador where they will experience indigenous culture and language both in the Andes and the Amazon. The majority of the program will be spent on the shores of the Napo River, which is one of the main tributaries which create the Amazon River. This is an anthropological-based program in which students will take two courses (ANT 3900 and ANT 3549). In the first, Ethnographic Field School, students will learn how to construct a research project, learn interviewing techniques, and gain valuable experience in ethnographic methods and analysis. We will be studying indigenous activism in Ecuador (focusing upon the impact of oil, eco-tourism, and rainforest management on identity and representation), working with Kichwa (Quichua)-speakers of the upper Amazon. For the second course, Field Methods in Linguistics, students will have the opportunity to study the indigenous language of Kichwa, while learning methods in language documentation and analysis. In addition, there will be numerous excursions for students to learn about “shamanism,” forestry conservation, biodiversity, and environmental citizenship. $3,500 (airfare included). How to apply and link to application
For more information, contact Dr. Timothy J. Smith.
“The experience I had in Ecuador was like finally coming home to my field of study; to see how anthropologists conduct their methods of data collection made sense of my last two years of classes at ASU. Without having this opportunity, I don’t think I would have the idea I now have of my future career,” said Elizabeth Stabler.
“I would not have expected that I could learn so much about a culture and its language as I did on this trip. It was only until I asked an indigenous man when the bus was coming in his own language that I realized how much I had learned,” explained Charles Webster.
The program starts out in the Andean capital of Quito, where students will have the opportunity to visit local museums and learn about the archaeological and colonial history of Ecuador and, in particular, the history of the Inca Empire, which dominated the Andes and Upper Amazon for nearly a century before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century. From there, the group travels by bus for six hours before arriving to their field site in the Napo Province of eastern Ecuador. The course houses students on the grounds of a local indigenous foundation of the Amazon, which focuses upon eco-tourism and conservation of the rain forest, located on the shores of the Napo River, one of the ten main tributaries which make up the mighty Amazon, which cuts through the heart of the South American continent. The focus of the field school is on indigenous activism and citizenship in Ecuador surrounding the introduction and maintenance of an oil pipeline and sustainable eco-tourism initiatives.
Nearly forty percent of Ecuador’s export earnings derive from its oil industry (other industries include bananas, cut flowers, and shrimp). Nearly one-third of the central government’s budget revenues come from its oil earnings, which for many has justified the exploration and colonization of the Amazonian basin since the mid 1960s. It was the sustained presence in the area as part of a sustained effort to exploit the country’s petroleum reserves in the Amazon region which sparked an indigenous uprising in this eastern part of the country. While impacting national level politics and underwriting the rise to power of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), students will learn about documenting the impact of the oil industry on Kichwa speakers of the Upper Amazon, and subsequent reactions to protecting the environment and how national movements manifest in local activism. The course works with two of seventeen communities through which a pipeline skirts through the jungle and their lands which formed a union which has pressed for indigenous rights.
The students will be divided into research teams, each of which will work in collaboration with one indigenous consultant in the carrying out of a research project in the indigenous communities along one of the following themes: history, oil, identity/activism, gender, and eco-tourism. Working together, students will develop their own research goals and carry out their research with local community members. In addition to participant-observation over the course of the month, students will visit family homes with indigenous translators and guides to interact with local families. In order to foster a collaborative spirit and build rapport, as well as receiving a crash course in linguistic field methods, students will also undergo intensive Kichwa (Quichua) study in the afternoons. They will be introduced to basic phrases and concepts through a grammatical study of the language and are charged with creating a basic lexicon around individual lessons.
In addition to classroom and field instruction, students will also receive an introduction to local traditions and practices in the way of manioc (cassava) harvesting, community service projects (mingas), midwifery, and “shamanism,” along with an overnight hike into the Amazon jungle where they will learn about local plants used for medicinal purposes and regional biodiversity. The course culminates with their participation with an Andean community outside Quito on the heels of the Inti Raymi, a festival celebrated throughout the Andean world marking solstice, Thousands of villagers descend upon the town of Cayambe, where they participate in a day-long competitive parade of singing and dancing.
Prior knowledge of Spanish, although recommended, is not required for participation. Classes will be held in English. Both ASU and non-ASU students are welcome and the program is open to those 18 and older with an interest in anthropology, history, political science, cultural studies, plant biology, and public health (to name a few). For non-ASU students, a background check will be required and they are encouraged to contact Nathalie Turner as soon as possible (deadline for completed application for admission to ASU as non-degree seeking student is February 1st to ensure consideration) for more information on how to apply: email@example.com
- 6 credits (ANT 3900 Ethnographic School [3 credits] and ANT 3549 Field Methods in Linguistics [3 credits])
- Hotel and cabin accommodations for four weeks
- Three meals per day for four weeks (group meals)
- Entrance fees for tourist sites
- Group transportation throughout Ecuador
- Field trips to neighboring villages
- Roundtrip group transportation from Charlotte to Quito (airfare and shuttle)
Airport exit tax
LOCATION AND HOUSING
While at the field school site, participants are housed in cabins or in an 8 room dormitory-style facility build high on a bluff overlooking the Napo River. Rooms are double or triple occupancy. Each room has located within it (or is a short distance from) running water and hot showers. Three meals per day are provided in the dining room. Recipes include a mixture of Ecuadorian and American cuisine with opportunities to savor indigenous Andean and Amazonian dishes. Vegetarian options are available upon request.
See more from our sister program: http://andes-fieldschool.org/Andes_and_Amazon_Field_School/Welcome.html
How to apply and link to application
Appalachian State University reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format and/or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the University's control.
For more information on how to apply for this program, please visit http://international.appstate.edu/education/aoep/how
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
State and federal financial aid can be applied to your study abroad expenses if you are eligible, and some scholarships are available. If you already have a scholarship, it's possible that it can be applied toward the cost of studying abroad. For scholarship opportunities, please visit http://www.international.appstate.edu/education/scholarships