Event information
Venue:MMC, SIPA 502/3



SIPA 502

Our speaker will be Dr. Juan Castillo Cocom, who is the co-founder of The Open School of Ethnography & Anthropology (OSEA). He has done extensive work on Maya identity and identity politics, particularly working in the Yucatan, Mexico. Here is a short abstract that he has provided for his talk on Friday:

“Maya” is ‘a category’, increasingly undistinguishable with the Mexican politics in the Yucatán peninsula as a generative context within which the “The Maya culture” can be further invented, sampled, imposed upon and patrolled. So what does this mean for a “Maya”? How can “Maya” exist, be ‘present’, in a world perpetually preventing the exit and escape from these productive parameters of identity politics and ideas of status?

“Ethnoexodus” is a means to conceptualize identity formation by putting aside the ‘necessity of status’ and understanding the role of iknal (both a shared and an individuated mobile field of sensory awareness and action) beyond Maya t’aan (Maya language) speech acts, and subsuming its analysis into an academic frame that broadens social phenomena and human experience to realms that are necessarily “In and Out of Maya Context” (Castillo Cocom, 2007). Certain questions arise here: How is it possible to consider power relations and identity formations not linked to status? And why is it important to not consider ‘status’ in identity formation in the first place?

Thank you, and we hope to see everyone there!

Rosalie Schurman
Colloquium Committee
Publicity Officer