Projects and Courses

Language & the Caribbean

Molly Hamm-Rodríguez (University of Colorado Boulder)

Molly Hamm-Rodríguez and Nadjah Ríos Villarini in conversation at the May 2019 institute

Framing language as a central site of social action, students will consider both the ideological formations that influence language policies and practices as well as the interactional perspectives that illustrate how language (de)constructs relational identities and social worlds, in the Caribbean and its diasporas.

Course Goals

  • Use sociolinguistic, sociocultural, and linguistic anthropological perspectives to explore language variation and use across the Caribbean and its diasporas.
  • Students study the dynamic nature of language within historical and contemporary processes
  • Challenge colonial origins of linguistic and geographic fragmentation by centering linguistic diversity

Students use diverse theoretical approaches to explore language variation in the Caribbean and Caribbean diasporas through a decolonizing perspective.

Outcomes & Deliverables

Reading responses that critically engage course topics, multimodal keyword definitions, genre study, speech communities digital presentation


Molly’s Course Syllabus

Find more information about Hamm-Rodríguez’s “Language & the Caribbean” course. (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Black Lives Will Not Matter Until Our Languages Also Matter

As part of the course, students are assigned this video lecture from Dr. Michel DeGraff, linguistics professor and director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative.

Projects and Courses

Caribbean Diaspora & Carnival

Nadjah Ríos-Villarini and Mirerza González (University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras)

Panorama of Carnival Practices aims to explore migration and the Caribbean diaspora through the lens of cultural practices related to Carnival.

Project Goals

  • To design and develop an interactive webpage with curated content about mobility (of people culture, ideas, etc.) in Carnival.
  • To engage scholars from Linguistics, Performance, Music, History, Communication, Library Studies and Digital Humanities in the planning of reliable and affordable archiving, and preserving and disseminating practices.

Participants attend four workshops to identify project materials and DH support, assess technical aspects, review funding options and draft proposals, and develop a two year work plan.

Outcomes & Deliverables

Collections added to archives, maintaining collaborative networks through oral history and family history archives projects.


Nadjah & Mirerza’s presentation

Dr. Ríos Villarini and Dr. González offered an overview of their work during the institute.

Caribbean Diaspora project website

The website includes an overview of each project phase, meeting reports, and the original grant proposal.

Caribbean Diaspora dLOC collection

The project collection includes photos, articles, research papers, and other materials in Spanish and English.

Archivo Histórico de Vieques

The Vieques Historical Archives (AHV) supports the documentation and preservation of audiovisual materials and artifacts related to the history, development, and sociocultural struggles of the island of Vieques off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

Culebra Digital Community Archive

The Digital Community Archive for Culebra, founded by the Culebra Foundation, promotes the preservation and sharing of information on the island municipality of Culebra, through photos, artifacts, maps and documents.

Archivo de Respuestas Emergencias de Puerto Rico (AREPR)

Omeka site supporting and showcasing the work and knowledge production of grassroots community organizations in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters.