"Contemporary Maya Poetry and the Question of Modernity: Xib'alb'a as an Allegory of Globalization"
Emilio del Valle Escalante (K’iche’ Maya) is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of "Maya Nationalisms and Postcolonial Challenges in Guatemala."
His presentation will focus on Maya K’iche’ poet Pablo Garcia and his book of poetry, "B'ixonik tzij kech juk'ulaj kaminaqib'" / "Song From the Underworld" (2009). Professor del Valle Escalante will reveal how Garcia's book critiques and demystifies the modern hegemonic Guatemalan narratives of citizenship and nationhood by representing the journey of a dead couple (the poetic collective voice) through xib'alb'a (the maya underworld). He will show how the contemporary Maya poet employs xib'alb'a to explore the colonized condition of Maya subjectivity and the search to transcend it through a return to the origins of the Maya K’iche’ nation.
This event is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies and English and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College.