K’acha Willaykuna Teaching and Research | K’acha Willaykuna Yachachiytawan Mask’akipaytawan


The K’acha Willaykuna initiative fosters connection between artisan residencies and the Ohio State curriculum. Through student workshops with visiting Indigenous artists for their classes, interdisciplinary teaching clusters and the development of new curriculum, the initiative seeks to equip Ohio State students with a unique theoretical/methodological sensibility and discerning perspectives emergent from Andean and Amazonian epistemologies and ontologies. 

Our teaching and research provide opportunities for students to engage with alternative literacies and historiographies, think critically about ways in which this cultural production challenges Western canons and how Indigenous perspectives can inform scholarly theorizing.

We foster a disposition of cultural humility through collaboration and exchange, involvement of cultural competency bridge figures and consultation with multidisciplinary experts that can navigate the unique ethical, technical, intellectual and creative challenges of responsible co-stewardship and collaboration with indigenous communities.

Indigenous languages are central to our teaching and programming through Ohio State’s Beginner and Advanced Quechua Language courses taught by Elvia Andía Grágeda. In addition, our CLAS Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship support students through applied-learning courses and forums.

The K’acha Willaykuna Collaboration encourages new course development and — following the example of Arts Administration, Education and Policy — efforts to secure dedicated course numbers for Indigenous arts and humanities content courses at Ohio State. We welcome opportunities to work with faculty and students interested in integrating curriculum on Andean and Amazonian studies to their courses. Please contact Michelle Wibblesman (wibblesman.1@osu.edu) for more information.

  • Graduate and undergraduate research opportunities, student engagement and scholarships: The K’acha Willaykuna Collaboration extends graduate and undergraduate student engagement opportunities and provides opportunities for faculty-student mentoring and faculty- student research collaborations within a broader interdisciplinary network of over 40 faculty, lecturers and graduate students conducting research in the Andes and Amazonia. Small project grants and student scholarships are available for students working with K’acha Willaykuna-affiliated faculty on Indigenous arts and humanities projects that immediately contribute to the Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities priority areas. These opportunities may be of particular interest to Andean and Amazonian Studies Minors, Quechua-FLAS Fellows, Arts Scholars, Arts Administration, Education and Policy students, WGSS students, CLAS students and fellows, Spanish and Portuguese Student Club members and the Quechua Learning Community.
  • K-12 resources (CLAS, Ohio State Libraries and SPPO): While Latin American K-12 resources do exist, there are limited materials and programs that emphasize the Andes and Amazonia, leaving the region to be severely underrepresented within K-12 curricula. Materials in Indigenous languages and on Indigenous cultures are even more scarce, leading to barriers of entry within the global information landscape. The K’acha Willaykuna Collaboration contributes to the production of K-12 materials on Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Arts and Humanities by working with students, faculty and visiting artists to render artist residency materials useful for K-12 audiences both in Ohio and in Andean and Amazonian communities.

    • CLAS Virtual Coffee — Portrayals of Andean and Amazonian Indigeneity in Children's Films: Honors Spanish majors Cara Satullo, Emily Montenegro and Juhee Park presented their analyses of Andean and Amazonian indigenous cultural representations in the movies PachamamaThe Road to El DoradoThe Emperor's New Groove and Dora and the Lost City of Gold with special participation of Américo Mendoza Mori (UPenn), who was a Quechua language consultant for Dora and the Lost City of Gold. You can watch The Road to El Dorado and Dora and the Lost City of Gold through Amazon Prime Video. ​Pachamama and The Emperor's New Groove are available on Netflix. Student essays are available through CLAS as additional K-12 classroom resources. You can find the webinar recording on the CLAS website (password: 1D?#F+@&).
    • Other CLAS Virtual Coffees
  • Outreach and public engagement: CLAS’s integrated public engagement framework, Shamupay! Public Engagement with the Andes and Amazonia through Music, Language and Art. Shamupay! (“Come join us” in Kichwa) targets K-12 communities and general public with programming on Andean music, art, languages and cultures, addressing limited educational materials and programs that emphasize the Andes and Amazonia. This existing programming, funded through CLAS, supports music performances, language and culture workshops, summer programs, K-12 curriculum support, public librarian/K-12 teacher workshops on Andean and Amazonian storytelling and culture, and Andean and Amazonian studies culture boxes.