The 2018-19 GYA North-South Interdisciplinary Grant was awarded to Suzanne Bouclin (Canada) and Binyam Sisay Mendisu (Ethiopia) for the research project: Can Digital Storytelling be used as a Tool for Countering Language Endangerment?
The project seeks to assess whether Digital Storytelling (DST) may be used as a tool for countering language endangerment in the very unique circumstances of the Arbore people in Ethiopia. The more targeted research goal is to offer a DST workshop to interdisciplinary scholars working with and for the Arbore people in a train-the-trainer format. The proposal builds on the interdisciplinary expertise of two collaborators, one from the human rights / engaged-research perspective; the other from a linguistics / capacity buildings standpoint.
Drawing on the interdisciplinary strengths and connections of each of the applicants, the proposed project will cross disciplines in order to merge the expertise of the scholars by promoting innovative research methodology (Digital Storytelling), to gather and analyse existing findings on a global issue: the protection of endangered languages. The project is in line with the GYA’s strategic target to contribute to efforts to address societal challenges, as language disappearance is one of the defining challenges of our generation. Further, the train-the-trainer model is designed to broaden the scope and reach of this project beyond our own research and to encourage interdisciplinary scientific discovery beyond the project’s life. The publication of the results and analyses of this project, in various modes and forms (from social media to scholarly publication) will add to the visibility of the GYA and contribute to its mandate of making science accessible.
This project is intended as a pilot project to a potentially larger and more expansive project involving international NGOs and other interdisciplinary research collaborators.
Work in progress
Key Findings and future work