Notes from the Field: Autumn Knowlton

Rita Chiqui

The next meeting of the Latin America and the Global Reading Group will be next Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 3pm in the Research Unit of the Liu Institute (Room 121). Below please find a brief description of the presentation Autumn will give on her research in Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala.

Please attend and bring your questions!

Autumn Knowlton, “Q’eqchi’ Maya Political Imaginaries in a ‘Post-Conflict’ Landscape”

How does defense of La Madre Tierra figure in Q’eqchi’ Mayas’ political imaginaries in “post-conflict” Guatemala?

Many Q’eqchi’ Mayas I interviewed for my doctoral research are engaged in life-and-death struggles over their current and future occupation of La Madre Tierra in northeastern Guatemala. In the past decade in particular whole communities have experienced violent evictions by corporations who are destroying their traditional lands in the name of profit and “development.” How are Q’eqchi’s’ political imaginaries shaped by experiences of conflict, especially during the armed conflict (1960-1996) and in more recent and ongoing waves of violent evictions?

I invite those who attend to help me think through the limitations and possibilities of my research, especially given my outsider status in Q’eqchi’ communities.

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