Andean Roots: Linguistics and Ecological Agriculture

Fall 2017 quarter

Taught by

Rachel Hastings
linguistics, mathematics
Spanish Language
Photo of Steven Scheuerell
ecology, botany, plant pathology
  • UG

This program focuses on language, agriculture, and food systems with connections to broader themes of biocultural diversity and global change. Our studies are based on the belief that many cultures have developed rich linguistic and ecological traditions that have provided the means for communication, food, clothing, and shelter based on a sustainable relationship with the land. The program will focus on the Andean region of South America. The region's diverse geography, cultures, and languages—as well as the species domesticated there—offer an ideal case study for putting the program themes in context.

This is an interdisciplinary program that bridges social and natural sciences while incorporating qualitative, quantitative, and experiential modes of inquiry to acquire discipline-specific knowledge and skills in agroecology and linguistics using texts, lectures, workshops, film, writing, seminars, and field trips. In linguistics, we will study language structure, sociolinguistics, language and culture, and field methods, with particular attention given to English, Spanish, and Quechua in the U.S. and in Peru. In agroecology, we will study the structure and function of agricultural systems, farmer-to-farmer knowledge and seed networks, food storage and distribution systems, journal article analysis, field research methods, and agricultural biodiversity emphasizing species domesticated in the Andes. Together, we will compare the structure and functions of languages and agriculture, investigate the essential role of language in the retention of agricultural knowledge, and study how seeds are like words in the way they evolve over generations and are exchanged across cultures.

The program offers students seeking Beginning I or Beginning II Spanish language instruction the opportunity to take a 4-credit Spanish language course within the program. Students who do not need this option can enroll for 12 credits. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

agriculture cultural studies environmental studies geography international studies language studies linguistics sustainability studies

Preparatory For

cultural studies, Spanish, sustainable development, linguistics, agriculture and food systems, and education

Quarters

Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location

Olympia

Time Offered

Day

Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 9am (Sem II D1107)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Fees

$140 for entrance fees to the Squaxin Island Tribe Museum Library and Research Center and an overnight field trip to Eastern WA.