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2nd Annual Heritage Lecture

When May 07, 2019
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Frankopan Hall, Jesus College
Contact Name
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Language as Heritage: Indigenous Language Resurgence in the 21st Century


On Tuesday 7 May 2019, Prof Mark Turin will give the 2nd Annual Heritage Lecture hosted by the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre.

In a year declared the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL19) by the United Nations  it is most appropriate that CHRC uses the flagship public event in its calendar to draw attention to increasingly threatened languages and oral traditions. 

2019 Annual Lecture Poster 

As Prof Turin explains:

“The linguistic diversity of our species is under extreme stress, as are the communities who speak these increasingly endangered languages. While some Indigenous mother tongues and narrative traditions have been in inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, many more have received no official recognition and continue to be oppressed by colonial-era legislation in the nation-states in which they are spoken.

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages to help promote and protect indigenous languages. This celebration of Indigenous linguistic vitality and resilience is welcome, but is it enough? Does official recognition ‘work’, and if so, how? Does ‘heritaging’ language help communities to reclaim their narrative and speech traditions? And do the goals of historically marginalized communities who speak under-resourced languages align with those of immigrants who advocate for resources to have their ‘heritage’ languages taught in schools and spoken in their homes.”

Engaging with critical heritage studies and an emerging body of decolonial theory on language, this richly illustrated lecture draws on contemporary and historical examples from North America and Asia to ask whether we need a new language for talking about linguistic heritage and heritage languages.


The Annual Heritage Lecture will take place on Tuesday 7 May from 5-6 PM in the Frankopan Hall, Jesus College.

Attendance is free and open to all. To register for a  ticket visit:


Mark Turin Mark Turin is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and First Nations Languages at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Trained in anthropology and linguistics, he has worked in collaborative partnership with Indigenous peoples in the Himalayas for over 20 years and more recently with First Nations communities in the Pacific Northwest.





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CHRC Written Logo

The CHRC is a collaboration of six departments. This is symbolized through six stripes in Cambridge Blue in the CHRC logo. The mesh-work arising from the darker stripes represents the collaboration of the CHRC and the heritage field at large.