Justyna Olko – project coordinator is a researcher at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw and Head of the Research Center “Encounters Between the Old and New Worlds”. She obtained a doctoral degree in the humanities in 2005 at the UW’s Faculty of History and the habilitation degree in ethnology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in 2016. She specializes in the ethnohistory, anthropology, philology and linguistics of pre-Hispanic and colonial Mesoamerica, with a special focus on Nahua language and culture, Nahuatl linguistics, and issues of European-intercultural communication in a broad sense. In 2013, she initiated a monolingual editorial series Totlahtol [“Our Speech”] aimed at the restoration of literary culture in Nahuatl. She is also involved in a program for revitalizing the Nahuatl language and works with researchers and activists committed to revitalizing dying languages of ethnic minorities in Poland. She has written several books, including Meksyk przed konkwistą [Mexico before the Conquest] (PIW, 2010, Klio Prize 2010) and Insignia of Rank in the Nahua World (University Press of Colorado, 2014). A recipient of scholarships from Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University, 2001, 2008) and the John Carter Brown Library (Brown University, 2010), she has also received grants for team projects (European Research Council Starting Grant for the project Europe and America in Contact. A Multidisciplinary Study of Cross-Cultural Transfer in the New World across Time, 2012, the first ERC grant for the humanities in Poland), grants from the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP, Programmes: Focus, 2010; Idee dla Polski, 2013; Focus bis, 2013), the National Science Centre (NCN, 2008, 2011), the Ministry of Science and Higher Education as part of the National Program for the Development of Humanities (NPRH, 2012) and the European Commission (Twinning Program, Horizon 2020; 2015). She has been awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2013) and a Burgen Fellowship by Academia Europaea (2013).

Stanisław Kordasiewicz – PhD, event coordinator. I graduated at the Faculty of Law at the University of Warsaw (2005) and continued there with my PhD project on strict liability rules in roman law (2010). My current academic interest focus on the reception of roman law in the works of Cuiacius, the most prominent European legal scholar of the XVI century.
Since the second year of my law studies I was also interested in communication and conflict resolution methods. I became a practicing mediator and a mediation trainer. I’m also active in the field of enhancing the dialogue between local communities and local authorities.
In the Twinning project I’m responsible for the coordination of workshops, summer and field schools and for the general support of other team members in their work.

Aleksandra Sekuła – secretary / administrator graduated with a degree in Polish Philology from University of Warsaw  (MA 1999). She continued her doctoral studies in the School of Social Sciences at IFiS Academy of Sciences (graduated 2004). In 2008 she defended her PHD thesis written under the guidance of prof. Maria Janion and obtained the title of doctor of humanities in IBL PAN (Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences). In the years 2007–2015, she worked in multilateral team on creating and developing a freely  available online library “Free Readings” (Wolne Lektury).
In 2016, a book based on her PHD dissertation was published, Sylwetka ideowa Zygmunta Krasińskiego. Dylematy i meandry polskiej myśli konserwatywnej [The ideological silhouette of Z. Krasinski. Dilemmas and meanders of Polish conservative thought].

Olga  Chromik – communication and PR manager. She graduated from Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities, with a community-art specialty at University of  Warsaw. Her research interests focused on urban games and anthropology of childhood. She loves performance art, traveling, and is learning how to sew.

Robert Borges scientific coordinator is involved in organizing the scientific and content related aspects of the EngHum project. He obtained his PhD (2014) in Linguistics from Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) with a dissertation about language contact in Suriname. Before joining the EngHum project, Robert worked within the framework of the Cognitive Creolistics project at Aarhus University the GramBank typological survey at the Max Planck Institytute for the Science of Human History. In addition to the EngHum Project, Robert also cooperates with the ERC funded project Europe and America in Contact. A Multidisciplinary Study of Cross-Cultural Transfer in the New World across Time, hosted at the faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw.

Bartłomiej Chromik scientific coordinator from Kęty, has graduated with a degree in Quantitative Methods in Economics and Information Systems from the Warsaw School of Economics and from Ethonology at the University of Warsaw. For 10 years he hes been conducting research in Ukrainian Carpathians. Even longer since childhood he has been fascinated in his region, including Wilamowice. Now he is teaching Wymysiöeryś at the University of Warsaw and is directing a project "Documentating linguistic and cultural heritage of Wilamowice". His doctoral dissertation will refer to the issue of present and past linguistic ideologies concerning Wymysiöeryś.

John Sullivan scientific coordinator is professor of Nahuatl language and culture at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, visiting professor at the Univeristy of Warsaw, director of the Instituto de docencia e investigación etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ), and director of the Yale Nahuatl Language Summer Program. He has a degree in elementary education from the Escuela Normal "Manuel Ávila Camacho" in Zacatecas and a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California San Diego and was a Guggenheim fellow in 2007. In collaboration with indigenous researchers at IDIEZ, he has just published Tlahtolxitlauhcayotl. Chicontepec, Veracruz, a monolingual dictionary of Modern Huastecan Nahuatl. He is currently participating in the project, Europe and America in contact: a multidisciplinary study of cross-cultural transfer in the New World across time, financed by the European Research Council. 

Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz - native speaker of Nahuatl language. Holds master's degree from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Investigations in Humanities and Education (IDIEZ). Works in the Engaged Humanities Project, where he is engaged in the investigation and revitalization of his mother tongue, a variety of Nahuatl spoken in Chicontepec, Veracruz. He is also employed as assistant lecturer and research assistant in studies of Nahuatl language and culture in the Institute for Ethnological Teaching and Research of Zacatecas. He is a teacher of Nahuatl language in Yale University in Nahuatl Summer Program. His fields of interest are ethnohistory, Nahuatl religion and teaching of Nahuatl as a second language.


  • 2016. Sullivan, John, Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz, Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz, Delfina de la Cruz de la Cruz, Victoriano de la Cruz Cruz, Sabina Cruz de la Cruz, Ofelia Cruz Morales, Catalina Cruz de la Cruz and Manuel de la Cruz Cruz. Tlahtolxitlauhcayotl: Chicontepec, Veracruz. Totlahtol Series. Series editors, Justyna Olko and John Sullivan. Warsaw: IDIEZ/University of Warsaw. ISBN: 978-83-63636-51-7.
  • 2016. De la Cruz de la Cruz, Abelardo. “Perspectivas sobre la revitalización de la lengua náhuatl en la Huasteca Veracruzana”. In Strategies for Language Revitalización. Eds. J. Olko & T Wicherkiewicz. Faculty of “Artes Liberales”. University of Warsaw. In press. 

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England


Ebany Dohle -  PhD Candidate in Field Linguistics at SOAS, University of London. Her main research interests include investigating how knowledge of the natural world is encoded in the Náhuat-Pipil language of El Salvador and how this shapes semantic, lexical and cognitive categorization processes. She has field experience in South East Asia as well as Central America. Ebany is also involved with Language Landscape, a language mapping tool, as well as Plants. Animals. Words. (PAW) a research group that promotes and supports interdisciplinary research within fieldwork based disciplines. Ebany is currently the project administrator for the SOAS branch of the Engaged Humanities (ENGHUM) research project.  


Julia Sallabank - reader in Language Policy and Revitalisation at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her main research interests are endangered language documentation and revitalisation; sociolinguistics/sociology of language; language policy and planning. She is the author of Attitudes to Endangered Languages: Identities and Policies (Cambridge University Press, 2013). With Peter Austin, she has co-edited Endangered Languages: Beliefs and Ideologies in Documentation and Revitalization (British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2014) and the Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2011).



Peter K. Austin - Marit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His main research interests are theory and practice of endangered languages documentation and revitalisation, Lexical Functional Grammar, morpho-syntactic typology, computer-aided lexicography and multi-media for endangered languages. He has also published on historical and comparative linguistics, typology, and Australian Aboriginal history and biography. He has extensive fieldwork experience on Australian Aboriginal languages and Sasak and Samawa from Eastern Indonesia. He has published 85 articles, and with Julia Sallabank has co-edited Endangered Languages: Beliefs and Ideologies in Documentation and Revitalization (British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2014) and the Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Leiden University, Netherlands


Willem F. H. Adelaar - professor of Amerindian Languages and Cultures at Leiden University. He has conducted extensive field research on different varieties of Quechua and on the minor languages of the Andes. He has also worked on the genetic relations of South American languages of the Andes and the Amazonian region, and of Mesoamerica, on linguistic typology, contact and areal linguistics, and has been involved in international activities addressing the issue of language endangerment. His further areas of expertise cover oral literature and cultural history of Native American peoples, and the

interface of linguistic studies with archaeological and historical research. His publications include Tarma Quechua (1977) and a comprehensive volume The Languages of the Andes (2004) of which he is the main author. 

Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen - (PhD Leiden 1983) is head of the department Archaeological Heritage and Society, which forms part of the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.  With a general interest in the cultural heritage and social condition of indigenous peoples, his research focuses on the interpretation of ancient Mexican art, particularly the corpus of historical and religious pictorial manuscripts, paying special attention to the continuous presence of indigenous languages, knowledge, cultural traditions and worldview in descendant communities. 

Together with Mixtec researcher Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez, he carries out long-term historical studies and ethnographic fieldwork in the Ñuu Savi (Mixtec) region in the state of Oaxaca (Southern Mexico). 

The Mexican government bestowed upon him the commandership in the Order of the Aztec Eagle, while the government of the State of Oaxaca (Mexico) honoured him with the Medal of Merit ‘Andrés Henestrosa’.

Jansen has supervised some thirty PhD dissertations. At present he coordinates the ERC advanced grant project ‘Time in Intercultural Context: the indigenous calendars from Mexico and Guatemala’.  His contribution to the twinning project Engaged Humanities concerns the connection between linguistic revitalisation, reintegration of cultural memory, decolonising methodology and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Selection of recent publications:

  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N.  & G.A. Pérez Jiménez (2007a) Encounter with the Plumed Serpent. Drama and Power in the Heart of Mesoamerica. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. 
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N.  & G.A. Pérez Jiménez (2007b) Historia, literatura e ideología de Ñuu Dzaui. El Códice Añute y su contexto histórico-cultural. Instituto Estatal de Educación Pública, Oaxaca.
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N. & L.N.K. van Broekhoven, eds. (2008) Mixtec Writing and Society / Escritura de Ñuu Dzaui. KNAW Press, Amsterdam. 
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N.  & G.A. Pérez Jiménez (2009a) La Lengua Señorial de Ñuu Dzaui. Cultura literaria de los antiguos reinos y transformación colonial. Colegio Superior para la Educación Integral Intercultural de Oaxaca. 
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N.  & G.A. Pérez Jiménez (2009b) Voces del Dzaha Dzavui (mixteco clásico). Análisis y Conversión del Vocabulario de fray Francisco de Alvarado (1593). Colegio Superior para la Educación Integral Intercultural de Oaxaca. 
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N. & G.A. Pérez Jiménez (2011) The Mixtec Pictorial Manuscripts. Time, Agency, and Memory in Ancient Mexico. E.J. Brill, Leiden & Boston.
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N. & V. Raffa, eds. (2015 ) Tiempo y Comunidad. Herencias e Interacciones Socioculturales en Mesoamérica y Occidente. ASLU 29, Leiden University Press.


Omar Aguilar Sánchez is  a Mixtec indigenous researcher, the Mixtec People or rather Ñuu Savi, People or Nation of the Rain, is an Indigenous People in southern Mexico.

Archaeologist at the National School of Anthropology and History (México). Thesis defense: January 16, 2015 (With Honors). Title thesis:  “Límites y extensión territorial de Santo Tomás Ocotepeque: un asentamiento de principios de la época colonial en la Mixteca Alta oaxaqueña”.

Currently, Aguilar is PhD. Candidate in the Sustainable Humanities Program (2016-2020), Faculty of Archaeology / Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University (The Netherlands).

Research Project and participation in ENGHUM-PROJECT

Aguilar’s PhD. research project is titled “Ñuhun Ñuu Savi: Language and  land as cultural heritage of the People of the
Rain”. His research focuses on understanding the symbolic stratigraphy of the land (through time) from the worldview of the People of the Rain, by studying contemporary cultural heritage in communities of the Mixtec Highlands.

His research follows three axes: 1) Cultural continuity of the People of the Rain is undeniable and language is the primordial link to the past. 2) Through the study of language, oral literature, ceremonial discourses, rituals and the daily life it is possible to have a deep understanding of signs, concepts, scenes and themes contained in the pre-colonial pictorial manuscripts, the sacred landscape contained in colonial maps, the intrinsic meaning of the cultural material and even the function of pre-colonial sites. And 3) the importance of studying Indigenous heritage by themselves lies not only in the past but also in the present as it aids to recognize their past, strengthen their identity, and to re-value and protect their cultural heritage.

The contribution of Aguilar in this project is to emphasize that to achieve language revitalization within Indigenous Peoples in Mesoamerica is necessary the “reintegration of the cultural memory” as a whole, in line with the principles of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), a Post-colonial framework and decolonizing methodologies.


  • Aguilar Sánchez, Omar (2015). “Tiempo y espacio en el lienzo de Santo Tomás Ocotepeque”. In Tiempo y Comunidad. Herencias e Interacciones Socioculturales
    en Mesoamérica y Occidente.
    Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen & Valentina Raffa coordinators. Archaeological
    Studies Leiden University 29. pp. 129-142, Leiden University Press, The
  • (in press) “La construcción de espacios sagrados como límites territoriales en los pueblos de la Nueva España”. Thule, Centro Study Americanistici Circolo Amerindiano’s online journal, Perugia, Italy.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 692199.