CLAS offers a Summer K’iche’Maya Institute at both the beginning and intermediate levels. The next summer institute will be offered in 2012.
K’iche’ is a Mayan language spoken by about one million people in the central highlands of Guatemala. The K’iche’ language has played a central role in the Mayan cultural revitalization movement and has a long literary tradition including such works as the Popol Wuuj (Popol Vuh) and Rabinal Achi. The Maya cultural revitalization movement and the subsequent rise in bilingual education in Guatemala have resulted in a number of interesting changes in both language structure and use, and have had important social and political implications for the cultures that speak the K’iche’ language.
About the Program
The K’iche’ program uses newly developed teaching materials in addition to a revised version of the Stanley Wick and Remigio Cochojil-González textbook published at the University of Chicago in the 1960s. The University of Chicago houses one of the world’s finest collections of recorded K’iche’ materials, including recordings dating back to the 1920s, which form an important part of the curriculum. The course is appropriate for students with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including anthropology, comparative religion, history, Latin American studies, linguistics, political science, and sociology.
Summer K’iche’ Maya Institute
The University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies, in partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, University of New Mexico Latin American and Iberian Institute, and the University of Texas Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, offers a summer intensive immersion language program in K’iche’ Maya on site in Nahualá, Guatemala. In the summer 2012, the Institute offered instruction at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Summer Institute Information
The goal of the Institute is to help students develop proficiency in modern spoken K’iche’. Beginning students will spend weekday mornings with linguistics and anthropology faculty from Vanderbilt University, the University of Kentucky, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas in a classroom setting in order to develop a strong foundation in K’iche’ grammar and vocabulary. During the afternoons, each student will work one-on-one with a native K’iche’ speaker in a conversation workshop. Each student will be placed with a local home-stay family during weeks 2-6 of the program for a genuine immersion experience. Weekly cultural demonstrations, including wood-carving, backstrap weaving, foot-loom weaving, and metate fabrication, will compliment the formal instruction.
During the first week of the program students will stay in a retreat house and meet with faculty to prepare for living in Nahualá, including practice of basic K'iche' phrases. At the start of week 2, the course will move to the town of Nahualá, where K’iche’ is the primary language used by the majority of residents. Nahualá has a laundry service, an ATM machine, a U.S.-trained physician, and several locations for using the internet.
Enrollment is limited to 12 students. Undergraduate students will be admitted only with consent of instructor. Students are encouraged to apply early. This is a field-based program — students should be flexible and prepared for living conditions in rural Guatemala. Below are details from the 2012 Summer K'iche' Maya Institute
Below are details from the 2012 Summer K’iche’Maya Institute.
Program Dates for Summer 2012
June 18 - July 27th
Mondays-Fridays 9:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-3:00pm (5 hours/day)
Intensive Beginners K'iche' 1, 2, & 3
Intensive Intermediate K'iche' 1, 2, & 3
Travel and Arrangements
Students are responsible for their own airfare.
Tuition/Fees and Credit
A $50 application fee is required (see below for details). This course meets all requirements for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships; students are encouraged to apply to their home institution for summer FLAS Fellowship support. Tuition for students on FLAS Fellowship is $5,000 (students not planning to enroll with a FLAS Fellowship should contact Josh Beck, or 773-702-8420, for tuition details). Eligible graduate students at other universities may apply to the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and/or the University of New Mexico for summer FLAS Fellowship support, but priority for FLAS awards at both institutions will be given to students at the awarding institutions.
All students must pay a $1,300 program fee. The program fee covers local accommodations (including one meal/day with the home-stay family) and local travel.
Certain costs are not included in the program tuition or program fee, such as transportation to Guatemala and hotel accommodations in Antigua for the first night, laundry, snacks, souvenirs, etcetera. Students should plan accordingly and budget approximately $700-800 for international airfare, $50/night for a hotel room in Antigua, $250 for course materials, and should budget for additional expenses.
All students will receive 3 credits from the University of Chicago. Full class attendance is required.
Application and Enrollment
Applications are now closed. They are typically due in March. Check back soon for updates about upcoming programs.
An orientation guide with information about course logistics will be provided to all students enrolled in the program.