I worked at Stirling University until August 2022, after having taught at Bonn University (Germany) and previously at St Andrews University. I have academic degrees in Amerindian Studies and Cultural Anthropology (German M.A., Dr. phil., Habilitation).
Amerindian languages and cultures, especially Andes – Quechua, Aymara, Chipaya; ethnohistory, ethnolinguistics, Christianisation
My research focuses on Amerindian cultures and languages, and on the Andean peoples of South America in particular. In order to understand the complex history and cultural developments of indigenous peoples better, it is important to take an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach. Therefore in my research I combine ethnohistory, cultural anthropology and ethnolinguistics, and translation studies – fields that enable me to study the culture and language of the so-called ‘indigenous peoples’. The combination of different research perspectives and approaches takes into account the changes those peoples have undergone and are still undergoing. Multiple and multilayered influences have shaped contemporary indigenous life, which is now closely related to, involved with and in some instances amalgamated with that of the modern, postcolonial nation-states of which the indigenous peoples form a vital part.
A major research theme of mine has been for many years the Christianisation of the Andean peoples, and in particular the role the implementation of the Christian doctrine using the main native languages (above all Quechua and Aymara) has played in the colonial era, partly shaping modern Andean religion.
In August 2011 I received a nine-month AHRC fellowship (GBP 68,572) to complete a book (in Spanish) on “Interlacing Two Worlds: The Creation of a Colonial Quechua Verbal Art.”
I was co-organiser of the Henkel Foundation funded conference on ‘European-indigenous Trans/Mission: Translation Strategies in Colonial Latin America’ at the Free University of Berlin in October 2011 and edited a volume with selected papers.
At the 2012 International Congress of Americanists I organised the symposium on “Entre conversión, inversión y subversión: Los textos en lenguas amerindias escritos por autores indígenas en la época colonial” which took place in Vienna (http://www.translatingchristianities.stir.ac.uk/call-for-papers-ica-wien-2012-entre-conversion-inversion-y-subversion-los-textos-en-lenguas-amerindias-escritos-por-autores-indigenas-en-la-epoca-colonial/).
On the basis of a Carnegie Travel Grant, I have been intensifying I am intensifying my academic contacts with Brazilian scholars, mainly on the research on the ‘Translation of Christianities’, together with Dr Maria Cândida Drumond Mendes Barros (Museu Goeldi, Belém).
I have published a thematic collection of the papers of an international colloquium about Latin American colonial confession manuals, accessible at https://journals.iai.spk-berlin.de/index.php/indiana/issue/view/115.
Currently I head an initiative on ‘Translating Christianities’, with partners from within and beyond my School Division (see http://www.translatingchristianities.stir.ac.uk) as well as the group on Crossing Cultures (http://www.crossingcultures.stir.ac.uk), both together with Alison Jasper.
Work and publications on the language of Christianisation in the colonial Andes: Dedenbach – La lengua de la cristianización en los Andes coloniales (09-2019)
My linguistic interests have always been related to cultural questions. I have worked and published on the Quechua language as well as carried out some research into Aymara. I have also addressed ethnohistorica questions.
Work and publications on Quechua, Aymara and ethnohistory:
Dedenbach – Lenguas andinas y etnohistoria (1-2013)
I directed a research project (2005-2007) on the documentation and description of the endangered Bolivian Chipaya language (Volkswagen Foundation funded project for the Documentation and Description of Endangered Languages: DOBES).
For a description see: http://dobes.mpi.nl/projects/chipaya/.
Work and publications on Chipaya: Dedenbach-Chipaya-1-2013.
From an ethnohistorical point of view I have looked into the different ways Peruvian peasants’ lives are described and documented within the hacienda system and the resulting conflictive situation at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century (‘Life history and microhistory: tensions between big landowners and peasants in Southern Peru at the beginning of the 20th century’).
Work and publications on ‘Life history and microhistory: tensions between big
landowners and peasants in Southern Peru at the beginning of the 20th century’:
Dedenbach – Historia y microhistoria en Puno (1-2013)