Confluencia: An Exploration of Converging Cultures in Northern New Mexico

with Sheena Chakeres

As a non-native New Mexican, I have been struck by the uniqueness of New Mexico’s identity, which reflects a confluence of traditions and a distinctive linguistic evolution. The interplay between language and culture in Northern New Mexico, evident in the folk art, food, architecture, and traditions, make our state an exceptionally perfect place for the linguistic or history scholar. In this course, we will explore these topics as well as how New Mexican Spanish reflects its origins in XVI-century Spain, its influences from both Anglo and Central American lexicons, and its greater story as part of a cultural identity.

Although this course is designed for teachers of History or Spanish, I hope to create space for anyone who would like to explore the cultural richness of the Southwest. However, it is recommended that the participant possess at least an intermediate mastery of the language, as most of the discussions, tours, and cooking lessons will be conducted in Spanish.

In addition to exploring these topics inside a bilingual classroom, we will explore New Mexico’s distinctiveness through multiple field trips, guest speakers, and activities. These may include a trip to Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Culture Center and the Instituto Cervantes, a trip to the Sanctuary of Chimayo, Santa Fe’s Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel, the Palace of the Governors, the Santa Fe School of Cooking, Cerrillos Food Markets, Canyon Road, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and the Museum of International Folk Art.

Culture Lab & Confluencia Schedule

Register Here