Yuliana Kenfield, Ph.D, is a Quechuan scholar. Originally from Cusco, Peru, she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Language, Literacy, and Special Populations Department at the University of Texas Permian Basin. She works with teachers and educational researchers who strive to better serve bilingual/multicultural students. A former bilingual teacher in New Mexico (where over a dozen of Indigenous languages are spoken) as well as an immigration paralegal, her current work focuses on collective sociolinguistic self-explorations with pre-service bilingual teachers around literacy experiences, ideologies, and actions to strengthen the professional commitment for social justice in education. Additionally, Yuliana works with Indigenous scholars/activists from her hometown, Cusco and the Americas, who are concerned about equity in education for Indigenous populations. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. Yuliana and her mother (Maria Medrano) were Quechua language instructors at the University of New Mexico, teaching basic Quechua courses to college students, some of whom may have Quechuan heritage. She also worked as a Spanish-English translator and interpreter for the Albuquerque Public Schools.
Since graduating in 2018 from the University of New Mexico (Ph.D. Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies), Yuliana's scholarly activity has obtained national recognition. The La Mancha Society at the University of Texas Permian Basin awarded her the 2020 Golden Windmill Award. Recently she received the 2020 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ) Special Interest Group (SIG) within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Her dissertation manuscript on Sociolinguistic Ideologies and Decolonial practices of Quechuans received a 3rd place honor for 2019 Outstanding Dissertation awards by the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE).
Dr. Kenfield’s dissertation research employed Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and photovoice with a focus on sociolinguistic practices, identities, and ideologies of Quechua-Spanish college students of Cusco, Peru. By coupling post-structuralist concepts of linguistic ideologies and decolonial thinking, Dr. Kenfield utilized mixed methods to implement a dual approach to this research: quantitative (survey study) and qualitative (interviews, photovoice, observations). These efforts deepened our understanding of the complex contention between sociolinguistic ideologies within higher education.
A portion of Yuliana's research was recently published in the ReVista Harvard Review of Latin America. ReVista is a prominent bilingual journal published by Harvard University (https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/book/quechua-spanish-bilinguals).
For Dr. Yuliana, all people bring a history and dynamic that enriches the journey of learning to better serve bilingual communities.