Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies (M.A.)
Programme name: Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Standard duration of study: 4 semesters
Start: Winter semester
Topic, contents and objectives
Graduates will have an advanced and well-founded knowledge of the essential descriptive and analytical theories and methods of Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies. They will also display the ability to carry out independent, subject-specific and interdisciplinary academic work. They will be in the position to work independently on topics in Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies and competently convey the results of their research. They will possess comprehensive experience and competence in the most important forms of communication in the humanities (discussion, presentation, written discourse).
The programme leading to the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.) in the subject of Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies qualifies the student to be active within institutions working on the dissemination of language and intercultural communication or the relationships between language and culture; also in private and public research establishments concerned with the documentation of indigenous American languages and cultures or with the concepts, methods and theoretical foundations of the relationships between language and culture. Moreover, the programme qualifies the student to work in positions other than those in research establishments in which an academically-founded understanding of the topics language and culture is relevant (e.g. media, publishing, educational establishments and tourism). Otherwise, the subject also lays the foundations for research activity in a doctoral degree course programme.
The subject at Göttingen, research areas and foci
The cultural anthropological and ethnological subject of Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies at Göttingen offers a combination, unique within Germany, of a field that examines the connection between language and culture (Linguistic Anthropology), and a field whose topic is the indigenous societies of the American continent from its beginnings up until today (Indigenous American Studies).
Students can choose between a focus in Linguistic Anthropology and one in Indigenous American Studies. The Indigenous American focus deals with the Aztecs and other Nahua societies from pre-hispanic times up until the present day as well as with the modern Sauk (also known as Sac & Fox), one of the Algonquin societies of North America. A particular focus of Indigenous American Studies as well as Linguistic Anthropology is the discussion of the group of topics regarding writing and the written form, mainly focusing on Mesoamerica. Furthermore, the comparative examination of writing systems and their genesis within a global perspective forms one focus of teaching and research.
Moreover, the connection between Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous American Studies presents an innovative reaction to the ever-increasing threat to indigenous languages and cultures on the American continent. The knowledge acquired in this programme forms prerequisites for successful co-operation with or work in indigenous societies and language communities. There has been co-operation between the University of Göttingen and the Sac & Fox Nation, an indigenous North American society, since 1991. The Sauk Language Archive in Göttingen, which houses the only documentation in the Sac & Fox (Sauk) language known to date, is an important resource for this society. From the approx. 400 hours worth of recordings, material can be acquired for a sizeable number of Master's theses and dissertations.
Academic activities in research and teaching establishments, in the media industry, in developmental aid and in tourism.