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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19072

Title: Indigenousness and the Reconstruction of the Other in Guatemalan Indigenous Literature
Authors: Palacios, Rita Mercedes
Advisor: Rodríguez, Néstor E.
Department: Spanish
Keywords: Guatemala
Indigenous Literature
Postcolonialism
Latin American Literature
Issue Date: 19-Feb-2010
Abstract: “Indigenousness and the Reconstruction of the Other in Guatemalan Indigenous Literature” examines the production of a contemporary Indigenous literature in Guatemala. With the aid of a multidisciplinary approach informed by cultural, feminist, gender, socio-anthropological, and postcolonial studies, I analyze the emergence and ongoing struggle of Maya writers in Guatemala to show how the production of an alternate ideology contests official notions of nationhood and promotes a more inclusive space. I argue that Maya writers redefine Indigenous identity by reinstating Indigenous agency and self-determination, and deconstructing and rearticulating ethnicity, class and gender, among other markers of identity. I begin by examining the indio as the basis of colonial and national narratives that logically organize the Guatemalan nation. I then observe the emergence of a contemporary Indigenous literature in Guatemala in the 1970s, a literature that, I argue, isolates and contests the position that was assigned to the indio and proposes a literature written by and for the Indigenous peoples of Guatemala. I posit that the inauguration of a Maya cultural space occurs with Luis de Lión’s novel El tiempo principia en Xibalbá (1985) and Gaspar Pedro González’ La otra cara (1992). I then observe the destabilization of traditional Maya female roles and symbols in the recent work of female Indigenous poets, Calixta Gabriel Xiquín and Maya Cu. Lastly, in the work of Víctor Montejo and Humberto Ak’abal I identify a negotiation of heterogeneity and essentialism for the development of a cultural project that looks to the formation of a pluricultural, plurinational Guatemalan state.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19072
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Spanish & Portuguese - Doctoral theses

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