Ryan Shosted

Ryan Shosted (PhD California, 2006) is associate professor of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studies phonetics and phonology. He has been deeply engaged with the Maya community of East Central Illinois since his arrival in 2007; he visited Santa Eulalia, Guatemala—the hometown of many of C-U’s Maya—in 2009. Shosted has co-taught (with Mr. Andrés Juan) three field methods courses to graduates and undergraduates in the Q’anjob’al language. In 2019 he taught aspects of Q’anjob’al grammar in a CLACS-sponsored summer course in contemporary Mayan history and culture (co-taught with Kora Maldonado). In 2009, with a group of local Maya and his student, Jill Hallett, Shosted co-produced illustrated stories, alphabet books, and posters in Q’anjob’al to promote literacy in the language. He has spoken to public school teachers, teachers-in-training, a high school honor society, and the wider C-U community about the Q’anjob’al language and the unique challenges it presents for learners. He volunteers in area public schools where he works closely with Maya students; one project in 2019 involved developing basic literacy skills for those who cannot read or write their first language, Q’anjob’al. In 2009 he established a website, currently go.illinois.edu/qanjobal, to gather locally-produced language materials in Q’anjob’al and make them available to the general public. This site has generated hundreds of requests for more information from around the country. Shosted has been interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, and NPR South Florida about the Q’anjob’al language and those who speak it.