Panel discussion: What does it mean to reclaim a language?

What does it mean to reclaim a language?

Featuring Stephanie Mach (Navajo/Diné) and Janice Llamoca (Quechua)
Wednesday, October 30th, 12:00pm at Kelly Writers House, UPenn
RSVP:  Sign up form or call: (215) 746-POEM

Join us for an informal conversation, led by Connor Bard (Lumbee Tribe) about language reclamation. What does it mean to reclaim a language?  How to understand the historical legacy of not being able to speak the language of our ancestors? How can individual language users and cultural activists contribute to the celebration and recognition of Indigenous Peoples?
Stephanie Mach (Diné/Navajo) and Janice Llamoca (Quechua) will help us address these and other questions about the politics and personal experience of language reclamation. Lunch will be served.


Janice Llamoca is an award-winning journalist and producer at NPR’s Latino USA. She began her career as an entertainment digital journalist and over the past five years, Janice has shifted her focus to audio sharing narratives about communities of color. During her time as a radio producer, she has done stories about history, language access, and culture, and humanizes her stories with compelling voices. As a proud Peruvian American, Janice (in her spare time) attempts to convert the English-speaking world to pronounce “llama” as “Yama” and not “Lama.” Because no one says “tortiLa.” She is currently taking Quechua language classes at the Quechua Collective of New York.

Stephanie Mach (Navajo/Diné) is a Collections Coordinator in the Academic Engagement Department at the Penn Museum. Mach facilitates university faculty and student access to collections and manages the Summer Internship Program. Mach has a BA in Archaeology, MA in Museum Studies, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Museum Anthropology. Mach’s research interests include museum policy, the history of museums, decolonizing and restorative methodologies, and settler colonialism.

Moderator: Connor Beard is a Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Connor is a Communications Major and a Native American Studies Minor. The Undergraduate Chair of Natives at Penn (NAP), he is a proud member of the Lumbee Tribe. Outside of NAP, Connor is involved in the performing arts community as the Community Service Chair for the Performing Arts Council Executive Board, performing in the University’s Glee Club, and a director for Manahatta, an upcoming play that is centered around Indigenous issues.

This event is part of Penn’s Indigenous Languages Week celebration. Sponsored by the Quechua program at Penn, Natives at Penn, Kelly Writers House and the Sachs program for Arts Innovation.