Philosophy:  Our pedagogical aim is to equip our students with a unique theoretical/methodological sensibility and discerning perspectives emergent from Andean and Amazonian epistemologies and ontologies, and provide opportunities for them to learn to engage with alternative literacies and historiographies, think critically about ways in which this cultural production challenges Western canons and how Indigenous perspectives can inform scholarly theorizing.

The Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Art and Cultural Artifact Collection is a resource for hands-on, activities-based, experiential learning. It supports new teaching and learning methods that are compatible with participatory, expressive and oral traditions, enabling teachers to get beyond teaching about culture in the classroom and allowing students to engage actively with indigenous knowledge systems.

The collection services a range of courses. By way of indexical representation, the collection facilitates Quechua and Spanish language sessions on specialized vocabulary at beginner and advanced levels. In advanced language courses the material mediates discussions that engage central Andean and Amazonian concepts. It also serves to anchor discussions on topics such as craft production, global consumerism and fair trade; commodification of culture and cultural reification; museum studies; colonialism and indigenous resistance; indigenous cosmovision; Andean and Amazonian aesthetics and power; and cultural syncretism. Certain items in the collection challenge our notions of subjectivity, personhood and agency by way of object-centered ontologies in the Andean and Amazonian animated, transmogrifying, gendered geographical and cultural landscape where “things” have a life and mind of their own.

At the graduate level the collection connects to curriculum on alternative literacies and historiographies of the Andes and Amazonia, and extends an opportunity to develop critical interpretive skills beyond literary analysis. Each expressive tradition presents us with a unique method and alternative structure for documenting the history and experiences of a community. The collection as a whole is a statement about alternative literacies—different forms of textuality inscribed in performance and cultural production, and non-alphabetic reading practices.

More importantly, the collection intersects not just within individual courses, but nests within a constellation of courses, activities and programmatic initiatives.


Workshops: For inquires, please contact wibbelsman.1@osu.edu.