Description - A Finger in the Wound by Diane M. Nelson
Many Guatemalans speak of Mayan indigenous organizing as "a finger in the wound". Diane Nelson explores the implications of this painfully graphic metaphor in her study of the civil war and its aftermath. Why use a body metaphor? What body is wounded, and how does it react to apparent further torture? If this is the condition of the body politic, how do human bodies relate to it - those literally wounded in 35 years of war and those locked in the equivical embrace of sexual conquest, domestic labour, mestizaje, and social change movements? Nelson addresses these questions - along with the jokes, ambivalences, and structures of desire that surround them - in both concrete and theoretical terms. She explores the relations among Mayan cultural rights activists, ladino (nonindigenous) Guatemalans, the state as a site of struggle, and transnational forces including Nobel Peace Prizes, UN Conventions, neo-liberal economics, global TV, and gringo anthropologists.
Along with indigenous claims and their effect on current attempts at reconstituting civilian authority after decades of military rule, Nelson investigates the notion of Quincentennial Guatemala, which has given focus to the overarching question of Mayan - and Guatemalan - identity.
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(229mm x 152mm x 31mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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Author Biography - Diane M. Nelson
Diane M. Nelson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College.