RAI RESEARCH SEMINAR
SEMINAR SERIES AT THE ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Revitalising the Nubian Endangered Languages and Living Heritage
Dr Kirsty Rowan, Department of Linguistics, SOAS University of London
Wednesday 5 October at 5.30 pm
For many millennia, the Nubian peoples have lived along a stretch of the Nile comprising northern Sudan to southern Egypt. However, during the 1960s, thousands of Egyptian Nubians were forcibly displaced from their homelands due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam. During this time, UNESCO organised the safeguarding of only the tangible heritage of this area of Nubia. Currently, more dams are proposed to be built on the Nile in Sudanese Nubia which will lead to a further mass displacement of the Nubian people. The imminent Nubian deracination will be a major factor in the subsequent predicted loss of their languages and intangible heritage within a few generations.
The talk presents how the Nubian Languages and Culture Project is fostering capacity with the Nubian community in Sudan, Egypt and the diaspora to arrest this loss by revitalising the Nubian languages and living heritage. With a focus on language in use, the talk discusses the methodology and type of language and living heritage collection that is being done to promote intergenerational transmission and expand the domain of use.