My research focuses on Amerindian cultures and languages, and on the Andean peoples of South America in particular. In order to understand the complex history and cultural developments of indigenous peoples better, it is important to take an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach. Therefore in my research I combine ethnohistory, cultural anthropology and ethnolinguistics, fields that enable me to study the culture and language of the so-called 'indigenous peoples'.
For more information and my publications see: http://www.dedenbachsalazar.stir.ac.uk.
The combination of different research perspectives and approaches takes into account the changes those peoples have undergone and are still undergoing. Multiple and multilayered influences have shaped contemporary indigenous life, which is now closely related to, involved with and in some instances amalgamated with that of the modern, postcolonial nation-states of which the indigenous peoples form a vital part.
A major research theme of mine has been for many years the Christianisation of the Andean peoples, and in particular the role the implementation of the Christian doctrine using the main native languages (above all Quechua and Aymara) has played in the colonial era, partly shaping modern Andean religion.
In August 2011 I received a nine-month AHRC fellowship (GBP 68,572) to complete a book (in Spanish) on "Interlacing Two Worlds: The Creation of a Colonial Quechua Verbal Art." I was co-organiser of the Henkel Foundation funded conference on 'European-indigenous Trans/Mission: Translation Strategies in Colonial Latin America' at the Free University of Berlin in October 2011 and will edit selected papers.
I organised the 2012 International Congress of Americanists Symposium on "Entre conversión, inversión y subversión: Los textos en lenguas amerindias escritos por autores indígenas en la época colonial" which will took place in Vienna (http://www.translatingchristianities.stir.ac.uk/call-for-papers-ica-wien-2012-entre-conversion-inversion-y-subversion-los-textos-en-lenguas-amerindias-escritos-por-autores-indigenas-en-la-epoca-colonial/).
At present I am intensifying my academic contacts with Brazilian scholars (Carnegie Travel Grant), mainly on the research on the 'Translation of Christianities', together with Dr Maria Cândida Drumond Mendes Barros, (Museu Goeldi, Belém).
Currently I head an initiative on 'Translating Christianities', with partners from within and beyond the Division (See http://www.translatingchristianities.stir.ac.uk).
My linguistic interests have always been related to cultural questions. Besides my studies on the Quechua and Aymara languages I directed a research project (2005-2007) on the documentation and description of the endangered Bolivian Chipaya language (Volkswagen Foundation funded project for the Documentation and Description of Endangered Languages: DOBES). (For a description see: http://dobes.mpi.nl/projects/chipaya/language/.)
From an ethnohistorical point of view I have looked into the different ways Peruvian peasants' lives are described and documented within the hacienda system and the resulting conflictive situation at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century ('Life history and microhistory: tensions between big landowners and peasants in Southern Peru at the beginning of the 20th century').