29 Jun 2012 - 30 Jun 2012 All day CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT



Dr Mark Turin (World Oral Literature Project/Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

A two-day collaborative workshop bringing together scholars, digital archivists and international organisations to share experiences of mapping ethno-linguistic diversity using interactive digital technologies.



There is a growing sense of public and scholarly concern about the future of orally transmitted knowledge in the face of rapid socio-economic change. Linguists have responded decisively to the threatened disappearance of many endangered speech forms by embarking on urgent documentation projects, training a new generation of field linguists, and partnering with members of speech communities invested in the preservation and revitalisation of their threatened tongues. Many such collaborations result in visually-rich digital outputs with geospatial components, and represent research findings through web interfaces that use sophisticated protocols to ensure that online access is granted at the appropriate level. Similarly, anthropologists are working with technologists and communities of origin to develop platforms for curating and disseminating cultural heritage in ways that reflect and respond to local needs.

This practical workshop brings university-based researchers in anthropology, geography and linguistics into conversation with representatives from international agencies and organisations that aggregate and disseminate large holdings of ethnographic and linguistic data. Through brief presentations and extended discussions, participants will explore innovative ways of visualising cultural and linguistic diversity and share appropriate techniques and tools for representing endangerment, both cartographically and geospatially.

Presentations will be clustered into thematic panels that address representations of traditional knowledge in digital domains; online anthropology and digital collections; geospatial tools and community activism; speech atlases and language maps from institutional and community perspectives, and a session focussed on visualisation tools used by language archives. Alongside scholars representing leading research programmes in these fields, we will be joined by colleagues from UNESCO, Ethnologue, Google Foundation and Alexander Street Press. The workshop will open with a lecture and exhibition by Tim Brookes of the Endangered Alphabets Project.

Please contact Claire Wheeler for more information or to express your interest in participating.






This event is supported by the World Oral Literature Project, the Vanishing Worlds Foundation and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.


In partnership with:




Accommodation for non-paper giving delegates

We are unable to arrange accommodation, however, the following websites may be of help.

Visit Cambridge
Cambridge Rooms
University of Cambridge accommodation webpage

NB. CRASSH is not able to help with the booking of accommodation.


Administrative assistance: Helga Brandt (Conference Programme Manager, CRASSH)


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk