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“Panel on Indigenous Studies”

September 24, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

About the presentation: This panel will focus on the following questions: What are the most important issues in relation to race and indigeneity? If indigeneity in each local context results from very specific conditions that are different across the world, why do we need the concept of indigeneity? What are the most important conditions, and what are the best practices and discourses of decolonization in Latin America?

About the speakers: Presented by Jessica Hurley, LACIS Adjunct Professor of Yucatec Maya, Reynaldo Morales, and Armando Muyolema, Lecturer, Quechua, UW-Madison. Moderated by Kata Beilin, LACIS’ Faculty Director and Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, UW-Madison.

Kata Beilin is a professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and the current Faculty Director of the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS) program. She is affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), and the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jessica Hurley is a cultural anthropologist specializing in Maya studies. She has been the instructor of (Yucatec) Maya at UW Madison since 2009. Her interests include Mayan languages and literacy, as well as economic livelihoods and consumer behavior as well as women’s lives and experiences. Her past research focused on the Lacandon Maya’s economic life ways as they relate to activity-driven consumer behavior and the gendered division of labor. Her future plans include developing and implementing a community-supported literacy project in a Lacandon Maya community.

Reynaldo Morales was born in Lima, Peru developing a career in strategic educational communication around human development, education, gender, women rights, and Indigenous Peoples in Peru. Moving to US in 2000, he served UW-Madison in different capacities before joining the international science research community. Currently he is a joint degree doctoral dissertator on Environmental & Resources with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and Curriculum & Instruction with the School of Education, being honored with a Milton Pella Fellowship in Science Education and currently by the Nelson Institute. He created the seminar “Global Indigeneity & Sustainability” hosted at College of Menominee Nation in Fall 2016, and at Nelson Institute in Spring 2017, funded by the Institute for Regional and International Studies, and Title VI National Resource Centers. He also taught “The Native American Experience” at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for the Social Sciences Department 2016-19.

Armando Muyolema is a lifelong indigenous professor and researcher from Ecuador. As an educator he has taught in different levels of the educational system in his country. His education has been closely related to his commitment to bilingual intercultural education as well as to the political process of indigenous peoples in Ecuador. He has graduated in education, anthropology and Andean linguistics. He gained a master’s degree of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Currently, his research interests focus on minority languages pedagogies; bilingual intercultural education; indigenous epistemologies; and indigenous cultural production and indigenous political movements in Abya-Yala.

This panel is part of a larger five-part series: “Race and Indigeneity”

An important goal of these series of talks is to engender a rigorous and respectful understanding of Indigenous peoples’ and other ethnic communities’ languages, knowledges, cultures, histories, politics, arts, sciences, and intellectual traditions from within rather than exogenously.  As a result, this series aims at providing an opportunity to think about, and with, the Indigenous, and other Ethnic knowledges, and through race-related struggles in creative, transformative and critical ways. We hope to establish an interdisciplinary dialogue by also incorporating perspectives of different academic disciplines. We hope to shed light on some of the most urgent problems that need to be addressed for the planetary benefit, – how to think, how to live, how to grow food-, by focusing on survival and resurgence of ethnic and indigenous cultures.


September 24, 2019
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Room 206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, 53706 United States
(608) 262-2811