My research focuses on linguistic diversity in Southern Peru. I address how social-ideological dimensions of language shape the ways that people understand, acquire, and practice linguistic features in communities characterized by intense social and cultural exchange. As an interdisciplinary researcher, I use qualitative and quantitative methodologies and draw primarily from theoretical constructs in the fields of linguistic anthropology, variationist sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition.
In my primary research project, I draw on 16 months of ethnographic data to investigate language learning and cultural participation in global education programs focused on Quechua and indigenous communities in Cuzco. I argue that understanding how study abroad affords second-language acquisition requires us to examine the broader values, beliefs, and ideologies that shape opportunities for meaningful (inter-)action between students and local stakeholders. Through examining language learning and study abroad as vehicles of social justice in marginalized communities, this research contributes to our understanding of the workings of sociolinguistic diversity in an era of globalization.
This project is part of a larger research agenda that includes collaborative projects on the socio-phonetics of Quechua consonants and the use of Quechua and Spanish in mystical tourism and expatriate communities in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca.