Mayas in Postwar Guatemala: Harvest of Violence Revisited

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Like the original Harvest of Violence, published in 1988, this volume reveals how the contemporary Mays contend with crime, political violence, internal community power struggles, and the broader impact of transnational economic and political policies in Guatemala. However, this work, informed by long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Mayan communities and commitment to conducting research in Mayan languages, places current anthropological analyses in relation to Mayan political activism and key Mayan intellectuals' research and criticism. Illustrating specifically how Mayas in this post-war period conceive of their social and political place in Guatemala, this book illuminates how Mayas working in factories, fields, and markets, and participating in local, community-level politics provide critiques of the government, the Maya movement, and the general state of insecurity and social and political violence that they continue to face on a daily basis. Their critical assessments and efforts to improve political, social, and economic conditions demonstrate their resiliency and positive, nonviolent solutions to Guatemala's ongoing problems, and deserve serious consideration by Guatemalan and US policy makers, international non-government organizations, peace activists, and even academics studying politics, social agency, and the survival of indigenous people.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This fine set of essays, for the most part town- and village-level case studies, shows the convoluted consequences of a kind of peace that has come to the beleaguered people of Guatemala...highly recommended.”—Choice 

“Based on significant and sound research, cogently argued. The variety of topics and regions covered by these essays offers both a broad and in-depth perspective on post-war Guatemala.”
—David Carey Jr., University of Southern Maine

"In its pages, one will find ethnolographically rich and politically engaged analyses of Maya communities' creative, complicated, and sometimes paradoxical responses to the legacies of state-sponsored violence and engagement with indigenous cultural activism in Guatemala."—Journal of Anthropological Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817355364
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Series: Contemporary American Indians Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter E. Little is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University at Albany, SUNY.
Timothy J. Smith is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Appalachian State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Introduction: Revisiting Harvest of Violence in Postwar Guatemala Walter E. Little 1

1 Democracy Is Dissent: Political Confrontations and Indigenous Mobilization in Sololá Timothy J. Smith 16

2 Reviving Our Spirits: Revelation, Re-encuentro, and Retroceso in Post-Peace Accords Verapaz Abigail E. Adams 30

3 Peace under Fire: Understanding Evangelical Resistance to the Peace Process in a Postwar Guatemalan Town J. Jailey Philpot-Munson 42

4 Living and Selling in the "New Violence" of Guatemala Walter E. Little 54

5 Everyday Violence of Exclusion: Women in Precarious Neighborhoods of Guatemala City Liliana Goldìn Brenda Rosenbaum 67

6 Bilingual Bicultural Education: Best Intentions across a Cultural Divide Judith M. Maxwell 84

7 Intergenerational Conflict in the Postwar Era Jennifer L. Burrell 96

8 Desires and Imagination: The Economy of Humanitarianism in Guatemala José Oscar Barrera Nuñez 110

9 Everyday Politics in a K'iche' Village of Totonicapán, Guatemala Barbara Bocek 124

10 Fried Chicken or Pop? Redefining Development and Ethnicity in Totonicapán Monica DeHart 139

11 Neoliberal Violence: Social Suffering in Guatemala's Postwar Era Peter Benson Edward F. Fischer 151

12 Harvest of Conviction: Solidarity in Guatemalan Scholarship, 1988-2008 David Stoll 167

Conclusions Robert M. Carmack 181

References 195

List of Contributors 213

Index 217

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