About the Series
Narrating Native Histories aims to foster a rethinking of the ethical, meth-
odological, and conceptual frameworks within which we locate our work
on Native histories and cultures. We seek to create a space for e√ective and
ongoing conversations between North and South, Natives and non-Natives,
academics and activists, throughout the Americas and the Pacific region. We
are committed to complicating and transgressing the disciplinary and episte-
mological boundaries of established academic discourses on Native peoples.
This series encourages symmetrical, horizontal, collaborative, and auto-
ethnographies; work that recognizes Native intellectuals, cultural interpret-
ers, and alternative knowledge producers within broader academic and in-
tellectual worlds; projects that decolonize the relationship between orality
and textuality; narratives that productively work the tensions between the
norms of Native cultures and the requirements for evidence in academic
circles; and analyses that contribute to an understanding of Native peoples’
relationships with nation-states, including histories of expropriation and
exclusion as well as projects for autonomy and sovereignty.
New Languages of the State is an exemplary ethnography of indigenous
activism in Latin America. Bret Gustafson insightfully probes the discourses
of indigenous activists and of the Bolivian state that underpin bilingual
education e√orts in lowland Bolivia. Moving deftly from macro-political
analysis to pan-Guarani organizers’ use of interculturalist educational phi-
losophies, between activist and government interpretations of intercultural-
ism, and from the texts of o≈cial documents to the practice of local activists,
Gustafson traces the movement from interculturalism to decolonization
under the Evo Morales government. Motivated first and foremost by a deep
solidarity with the Guaraní educational cause, New Languages is at once the
product of collaboration between anthropologist and social movement, and
an attempt at a reasoned critique of indigenous e√orts.
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