Dr. Joshua Shapero Awarded Wenner-Gren Foundation's Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Departmental News

Posted:  Oct 28, 2021 - 10:00am

Joshua Shapero has been awarded the Wenner-Gren Foundation's Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year in order to complete the manuscript of his book, "The Ground Beneath Our Words: Speaking and Living with Places in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca Mountains."

The book draws on long-term field research in Peru's Cordillera Blanca mountain range, describing how everyday conversation in the region’s indigenous language—Ancash Quechua—is anchored along social, linguistic, and cognitive lines to speakers’ shared knowledge of and orientation to the landscape. "The Ground Beneath Our Words" contextualizes these findings within an environmental history of the region, showing how the formation of the Huascaran National Park’s unprecedented restriction of herders' access to high pasturelands resonates not only in economic and social life, but also destabilizes the grounds for communication in the region’s native language. The book will address the relative silence of linguistic anthropology on pressing environmental concerns, reorient theoretical concerns with the nature of language, and convey the relevance of language to environmental historians, activists and policy-makers.(Photo: Joshua Shapero during interview at Pitsqa Wanka)