Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Proposal Development Grants from the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory!

You will find descriptions of “Argentine Afrikaners: Interrogating Hybridity in a Unique Diasporic Community” and “On the Emergence and Development of Three Atlantic Creoles: A Linguistic and Historical Perspective on Haitian, Sranan and Cape Verdean” below. The list of primary investigator and team members for each proposal can also be seen, including faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students from U-M Linguistics.

The Michigan Humanities Collaboratory

Funded by the Provost’s Office, under the administrative umbrella of the Institute for the Humanities, the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory provides resources for humanities scholars to experiment with collaborative, team-based approaches to humanities research, its communication to the broader public, and the training of the next generation of humanities scholars. Led by humanities faculty, teams including other university faculty, librarians, and humanists, undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs, will work together on large-scale projects from development to dissemination as they create team-based project models.

Argentine Afrikaners: Interrogating Hybridity in a Unique Diasporic Community

This project will examine the practices of a unique settlement in Patagonia, Argentina, which presents an exceptional situation of cultural and linguistic contact between Afrikaans and Argentine-Spanish communities. By studying the archive of oral narratives both for their linguistic structures and in terms of their ideological content, the team will determine the nature and extent of linguistic hybridity between Afrikaans and Spanish in individual speakers. To preserve cultural history and language, the team will also create a multilingual archive and website (in English, Spanish, and Afrikaans) that would provide access to open-source applications containing video and sound clips, transcripts, and the history of the community.

  • PI: Nicholas Henriksen, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures
  • Team Members: Andries Coetzee, Associate Professor, Linguistics, Lorenzo Garcia-Amaya, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures, Ryan Szpiech, Associate Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures, szpiech, Paulina Alberto, Associate Professor, History, & Romance Languages & Literatures, Katharine Jenckes, Associate Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures; Graduate students, including two close collaborators and one IT assistant (TBD); Undergraduate students: Mallory Fuller, Ella Deaton, Meghan Samyn

On the Emergence and Development of Three Atlantic Creoles: A Linguistic and Historical Perspective on Haitian, Sranan and Cape Verdean

This project will examine a set of early creole texts written in the 16th and 18th centuries and the historical context in which they were written. Specifically, the team will bring together historians and linguists to study the earliest written records of Haitian Creole, (a French-based creole), Sranan Creole (an English-based creole) and Cape Verdean Creole (a Portuguese-based creole), and draw a fuller picture of the linguistic and historical insights that these texts have to offer in addressing the following questions: What did a given creole look like in the early stages of development? Who were the original founding populations and what were the languages in contact? Who were the early agents of creolization: adults and/or children? What was the socio-historical context in which the creole developed?