Maintaining Language and Folk Literature in Ethnic Yi (Yizu) Areas in China


Mark Allan Bender (The Ohio State University)

In the spirit of the transnational, this paper shares ethnographic fieldwork reports and discussions with local actors on how ethnic minority individuals/communities/institutions/boosters address issues of maintaining language and folk literature/culture in ethnic minority communities in ethnic Yi (Yizu) areas of Sichuan and Yunnan in an era of poverty relief, infrastructure development, and stimulus money. The paper draws on ideas of “revitalization” (Treuer 2020) and “survivance” (Vizenor 1999) as cultural options, and suggests the term “attendance” in the sense how “what matters” is shaped by local/non-local actors/forces in communities engaging with rapid social, economic, and environmental, and cultural changes.

Part of 26-02 “Folk” Culture in Eastern Asia: Transition, Survivance, and Attendance, Tuesday, October 19, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm