Miskitu Language and Culture
- Learn the indigenous language Miskitu
- Earn 6 hours of academic credit
- FLAS-eligible program
This FLAS-eligible, University of Kansas summer study abroad program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn Miskitu, an indigenous language, spoken by nearly 200,000 indigenous Miskitu people on the Honduran and Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast, and learn about the indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures. Students will further learn about the language and culture by participating in cultural activities and excursions to other cities. Honduras has a lot to offer, but because it is a developing country, students should be prepared to face unexpected challenges that come with developing countries, such as periodic lack of hot water or electricity.
Students will have the opportunity to experience different cultures and aspects of Honduras. The majority of the program will take place on Roatan Island on both the east and west end of the island. The group will also spend a week in La Ceiba on mainland Honduras.
The program is pending approval from the International Travel Review Committee.
Six hours of undergraduate or graduate credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program. The language courses meet Monday-Friday and the independent research course meets twice weekly. Courses are taught by KU staff and native Miskitu instructors.
KU Latin American Studies majors: the courses will fulfill upper-division elective requirements.
KU Indigenous Studies in Latin America (ISLA) minors: the courses will count towards the minor.
The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship is given by U.S. universities that have FLAS funding.
Non-FLAS funded students will enroll in one 3 credit hour language course and one 3 credit hour independent study course from the courses below.
In the language course, students will learn Miskito phonology and grammar and work with local Miskitu speakers to practice conversational skills. Additionally, students will build a corps of vocabulary words to understand the discursive domains of gender, race, ethnicity, and kinship in Miskitu society.
- LAA 302/602 Topics in Latin American Area Studies: Spoken Miskitu
- LING 575 The Structure of Miskitu
For the independent study course, students will complete an independent ethnographic research project on a topic of their choice and give an oral presentation presenting their findings.
- LAA 302/602 Topics in Latin American Area Studies: Independent Research on the Miskito Coast
- ANTH 291 Study Abroad Topics: Peoples and Cultures of the Miskitu Coast
FLAS-funded students will enroll in two of the following 3 credit hour language courses, depending on previous Miskitu study.
LAA 302/602 Topics in Latin American Area Studies: Spoken Miskitu I
LAA 302/602 Topics in Latin American Area Studies: Spoken Miskitu II
LAA 302/602 Topics in Latin American Area Studies: Spoken Miskitu III
LING 575 The Structure of Miskitu
The group will be staying in hostels and hotels during the time abroad.
Open to students from accredited U.S. colleges or universities. Minimum 2.5 GPA. Exceptions considered after submission of a petition. A Spanish background is not required, but is useful.
Laura H. Herlihy’s research has been with the bi-national (Honduras and Nicaragua) Miskitu peoples since the 1990s and she speaks their language fluently.