Tag Archives: UNAM

Totalizing Violence and Experience in Mexico

Maya Aguiluz Ibargüen

Maya Aguiluz Ibargüen

Maya Aguiluz Ibargüen, senior research fellow at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), has been a visiting scholar at NYU this past semester. As a sociologist, she has published widely on the discourse of modernity and social theory. In 2012, she received the UNAM’s “Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz” Award.

Aguiluz-Ibargüen studies violence from historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives following integrative streams for transdisciplinary fusions. She began to intertwine perspectives through the integration of social sciences with anthropological and cultural studies.

In the beginning of the nineties, Aguiluz-Ibargüen did her Masters in La Paz, Bolivia, during which she was fascinated with her immersion into Bolivian pluralistic society. According to her, the Andean identification processes are continuously built in a plural process: cultures, politics, projects, and ideas from different parts of the world mix together, and the Andean culture learns how to embrace them. In 2005, she conducted research for a collaborative project about the work of Arturo Peralta Miranda. Known under the pseudonym of Gamaliel Churata, he is a writer who was exiled from Peru to Bolivia in 1919, but became an acknowledged journalist in the 1950s. Aguiluz- Ibargüen’s first work on Churata used Quechua and Aymara narrative to express social experiences through mythical stories and parables.

She decided to come to CLACS because of the Center’s focus on her region of  main interest: the Andes. But another important reason that motivated her is that CLACS Director, Jill Lane, is an expert in Performance Studies, and Aguiluz-Ibargüen is currently focusing on social suffering, the politics of love, and the performance of violence. Continue reading

CLACS Hosts Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership Conference

On October 19 CLACS co-hosted a conference on “Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership in Defense of Territory.”

Mesoamerican Biodiversity Conference - CLACS at NYUMarisa Belausteguigoitia, director of the Programa de Estudios de Genero (PUEG) at UNAM, opened the “Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership in Defense of Territory” conference (yes, it’s a mouthful!) with the idea that an exchange of ideas needs to happen between the “plaza and the classroom” in order to effect real change. Belausteguigoitia said the primary motivation for the conference was a response to the violence occurring in Mexico, utilizing UNAM’s important position as a public university to enter into a transnational dialogue. Although the conference focused mainly on Latin America, the objective was to create conversations covering topics that are important on a global level. The panel discussions highlighted issues of feminicide, environmental devastation and mythologization of indigenous people.

As a woman of Mexican heritage, a CLACS student, and a former resident of southern Mexico (where many of the talks were focused), the topics covered by the panelists resonated with me both emotionally and academically. The ideas and issues discussed, however, are of universal relevance. Overarching themes of struggle and identity were revealed through stories of extreme violence being contested with new forms of resistance; demands for society and environment to be confronted together in creating buen vivir; and women, who are turning the table on modernity by defending traditions in nontraditional ways. The paradoxes are many, and although no unequivocal resolution has been proffered, the door to dialogue has been opened‑ and it is up to us to walk through.

This conference was a collaboration between CLACS,  the Humanities Initiative at NYU, the Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Columbia University, the NYU Dean for the Humanities, the NYU Native Studies Forum, the NYU Department of Anthropology, Metropolitan Studies at NYU, the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU, and the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU.

Posted by Marisa Cadena – M.A. Candidate, CLACS at NYU