Recent research and the release of newly declassified U.S. government documents underscore the importance of reading Guatemala's current history through the lens of 1954. Scholars and researchers who have worked in Guatemala from the 1940s to the present articulate how the coup fits into ethnographic representations of Guatemala. Highlighting the voices of individuals with whom they have lived and worked, the contributors also offer an unmatched understanding of how the events preceding and following the coup played out on the ground.
Contributors are Abigail E. Adams, Richard N. Adams, David Carey Jr., Christa Little-Siebold, Judith M. Maxwell, Victor D. Montejo, June C. Nash, and Timothy J. Smith.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 2002
As ideas, goods, and people move with increasing ease and speed across national boundaries and geographic distances, the economic changes and technological advances that enable this globalization are also paradoxically contributing to the balkanization of states, ethnic groups, and special interest movements. Exploring how this process is playing out in Guatemala, this book presents an innovative synthesis of the local and global factors that have led Guatemala's indigenous Maya peoples to assert and defend their cultural identity and distinctiveness within the dominant Hispanic society.
Drawing on recent theories from cognitive studies, interpretive ethnography, and political economy, Edward F. Fischer looks at individual Maya activists and local cultures, as well as changing national and international power relations, to understand how ethnic identities are constructed and expressed in the modern world. At the global level, he shows how structural shifts in international relations have opened new venues of ethnic expression for Guatemala's majority Maya population. At the local level, he examines the processes of identity construction in two Kaqchikel Maya towns, Tecpán and Patzún, and shows how divergent local norms result in different conceptions and expressions of Maya-ness, which nonetheless share certain fundamental similarities with the larger pan-Maya project. Tying these levels of analysis together, Fischer argues that open-ended Maya "cultural logics" condition the ways in which Maya individuals (national leaders and rural masses alike) creatively express their identity in a rapidly changing world.
Guatemala draws some half million tourists each year, whose brief visits to the ruins of ancient Maya cities and contemporary highland Maya villages may give them only a partial and folkloric understanding of Guatemalan society. In this vividly written travel narrative, Stephen Connely Benz explores the Guatemala that casual travelers miss, using his encounters with ordinary Guatemalans at the mall, on the streets, at soccer games, and even at the funeral of massacre victims to illuminate the social reality of Guatemala today.
The book opens with an extended section on the capital, Guatemala City, and then moves out to the more remote parts of the country where the Guatemalan Indians predominate. Benz offers us a series of intelligent and sometimes humorous perspectives on Guatemala's political history and the role of the military, the country's environmental degradation, the influence of foreign missionaries, and especially the impact of the United States on Guatemala, from governmental programs to fast food franchises.
Modern academic criticism bursts with what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick once termed paranoid readings—interpretative feats that aim to prove a point, persuade an audience, and subtly denigrate anyone who disagrees. Driven by strategies of negation and suspicion, such rhetoric tends to drown out softer-spoken reparative efforts, which forego forceful argument in favor of ruminations on pleasure, love, sentiment, reform, care, and accessibility.
Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good calls for a time-out in our serious games of critical exchange. Charting the divergent paths of paranoid and reparative affects through illness narratives, academic work, queer life, noise pollution, sonic torture, and other touchy subjects, William Cheng exposes a host of stubborn norms in our daily orientations toward scholarship, self, and sound. How we choose to think about the perpetration and tolerance of critical and acoustic offenses may ultimately lead us down avenues of ethical ruin—or, if we choose, repair. With recourse to experimental rhetoric, interdisciplinary discretion, and the playful wisdoms of childhood, Cheng contends that reparative attitudes toward music and musicology can serve as barometers of better worlds.
Using a wide array of historical and contemporary sources, Way explores the multiple intersections of development and individual life, focusing on the construction of social space through successive waves of land reform, urban planning, and economic policy. His explorations move from Guatemala City's poorest neighborhoods and informal economies (run predominantly by women) to a countryside still recovering from civil war and anti-Mayan genocide, and they encompass such artifacts of development as the modernist Pan-American Highway and the postmodern Grand Tikal Futura, a Mayan-themed shopping mall ringed by gated communities and shantytowns. Capitalist development, Way concludes, has dramatically reshaped the country's physical and social landscapes—engendering poverty, ethnic regionalism, and genocidal violence—and positioned Guatemala as a harbinger of globalization's future.
Nelson brings together stories of human rights activism, Mayan identity struggles, coerced participation in massacres, and popular entertainment—including traditional dances, horror films, and carnivals—with analyses of mass-grave exhumations, official apologies, and reparations. She discusses the stereotype of the Two-Faced Indian as colonial discourse revivified by anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency and by the claims of duplicity leveled against the Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú, and she explores how duplicity may in turn function as a survival strategy for some. Nelson examines suspicions that state power is also two-faced, from the left’s fears of a clandestine para-state behind the democratic façade, to the right’s conviction that NGOs threaten Guatemalan sovereignty. Her comparison of antimalaria and antisubversive campaigns suggests biopolitical ways that the state is two-faced, simultaneously giving and taking life. Reckoning is a view from the ground up of how Guatemalans are finding creative ways forward, turning ledger books, technoscience, and even gory horror movies into tools for making sense of violence, loss, and the future.
Contributors. Hugo Achugar, Alvarro Barros-Lémez, Lisa Block de Behar, Amanda Berenguer, Hiber Conteris, José Pedro Díaz, Eduardo Galeano, Edy Kaufman, Leo Masliah, Carina Perelli, Teresa Porzecanski, Juan Rial, Mauricio Rosencof, Jorge Ruffinelli, Saúl Sosonowski, Martin Weinstein, Ruben Yáñez
When she was in fifth grade, Monica Abbott declared that she would one day become an Olympic athlete. In the decades that would follow, her prediction would prove stunningly true, as she would not only compete in the Games but go on to claim two Silver Medals as pitcher for Team USA softball.
In her twenty-plus years as a professional athlete, Abbott has set a high standard of firsts and achievements—but her talents and tenacity have not only shattered records but have also created new possibilities for female athletes everywhere. In Rise and Shine, Abbott chronicles significant lessons and experiences from her childhood, her University of Tennessee and professional softball years, her time in the Olympics, and beyond. Throughout the book, she shares insights cultivated on her journey, offering them to readers of all ages and skill sets to consider as they endeavor to bring their lives into contact with their dreams.
How do we set goals yet unseen? How do we thrive even while overcoming obstacles? And perhaps most importantly, how do we turn our successes into advantages for others? With a foreword by world-renowned tennis icon Billie Jean King, Rise and Shine is more than a record of medals and firsts; it is the story of making dreams come true and of lifting others with you as you rise.
Contributors consider a wide range of issues confronting present-day Guatemala: returning refugees, land reform, gang violence, neoliberal economic restructuring, indigenous and women's rights, complex race relations, the politics of memory, and the challenges of sustaining hope. From a sweeping account of Guatemalan elites' centuries-long use of violence to suppress dissent to studies of intimate experiences of complicity and contestation in richly drawn localities, War by Other Means provides a nuanced reckoning of the injustices that made genocide possible and the ongoing attempts to overcome them.
Contributors. Santiago Bastos, Jennifer Burrell, Manuela Camus, Matilde González-Izás, Jorge Ramón González Ponciano, Greg Grandin, Paul Kobrak, Deborah T. Levenson, Carlota McAllister, Diane M. Nelson, Elizabeth Oglesby, Luis Solano, Irmalicia Velásquez Nimatuj, Paula Worby
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