Maya Cultural Activism In Guatemala

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Maya Cultural Activism in Guatemala marks a new era in Guatemalan studies by offering an up-to-the-minute look at the pan-Maya movement and the future of the Maya people as they struggle to regain control over their cultural destiny. The successful emergence of what is in some senses a nationalism grounded in ethnicity and language has challenged scholars to reconsider their concepts of nationalism, community, and identity.

Editors Edward F. Fischer and R. McKenna Brown have brought together essays by virtually all the leading U.S. experts on contemporary Maya communities and the top Maya scholars working in Guatemala today. Supplementing scholarly analysis of Mayan cultural activism is a position statement originating within the movement and more wide-ranging and personal reflections by anthropologists and linguists who have worked with the Maya over the years. Among the broader issues that come in for examination are the complex relations between U.S. Mayanists and the Mayan cultural movement, efforts to promote literacy in Mayan languages, the significance of woven textiles and native dress, the relations between language and national identity, and the cultural meanings that the present-day Maya have encountered in ancient Mayan texts and hieroglyphic writing.

"An important collection of essays on Mayan activism. Included are pieces by native and non-native scholars reviewing Guatemalan history, ethnic violence, peasant and indigenous cultural resistance to the State, material culture, development, and literacy. Each article brings to the fore a concern for human rights"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

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Editorial Reviews

American Anthropologist
The book effectively captures nascent efforts by largely urban, university-educated, and professionally trained Maya to reclaim the rightful place of all Maya, rural peasant and city professional alike, as full but nonetheless Maya citizens of Guatemala.... a rich case study detailing the inseparability of culture and politics and the cross-cutting affinities of ethnicity, class, and ideology in indigenous rights movements emerging throughout contemporary Latin America.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Edward F. Fischer is professor of anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University.

R. McKenna Brown is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Maya Cultural Activism in Guatemala (Edward F. Fischer and R. McKenna Brown)
2. The Politics of Maya Revindication (Demetrio Cojtí Cuxil)
3. Induced Culture Change as a Strategy for Socioeconomic Development: The Pan-Maya Movement in Guatemala (Edward F. Fischer)
4. Maya Culture and the Politics of Development (Raxche' [Demetrio Rodriguez Guaján])
5. Reading History as Resistance: Maya Public Intellectuals in Guatemala (Kay B. Warren
6. The Discourse of Concealment and 1992 (Enrique Sam Colop)
7. Old Writing and New Messages: The Role of Hieroglyphic Literacy in Maya Cultural Activism (Circe Sturm)
8. The Workshop for Maya on Hieroglyphic Writing (Linda Schele and Nikolai Grube)
9. Maya Clothing and Identity (Irma Otzoy)
10. Women, Weaving, and Education in Maya Revitalization (Carol Hendrickson)
11. The Mayan Language Loyalty Movement in Guatemala (R. McKenna Brown)
12. The Role of Language Standardization in Revitalization (Nora C. England)
13. Prescriptive Grammar and Kaqchikel Revitalization (Judith M. Maxwell)
14. Maya Education: A Historical and Contemporary Analysis of Mayan Language Education Policy (Julia Becker Richards and Michael Richards)
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