Friday, May 30, 2008


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Friday, April 11, 2008

Lecture by Maya Professor Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez on Monday, April 14 @ CSUN

Professor Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez will be giving a lecture and reading on Monday, April 14, 2008, from noon-1:45pm in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall #451.

Professor Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez is a Maya-Q�anjob�al novelist, poet, painter, and literary critic. He is a graduate of the Universidad Mariano G�lvez in Guatemala City where he currently teaches Mayan literature and oral tradition. He is a member of the Academy of Mayan Languages . He has served as an official of the Ministry of Culture of Guatemala . In addition, Gonz�lez founded and serves as president of Sb'eyb'al, a leading Mayan cultural organization, which organized the First and Second Congresses of Indigenous Literature of the Americas in Guatemala City in 1998 and 1999. He has published several trilingual literary works (Maya-Q�anjob�al, Spanish and English). His book entitled Kotz'ib', nuestra literaturas maya (1997) is an important text that provides cultural and literary parameters in our interpretation of Indigenous cultural productions. His second novel, El retorno de los mayas/The Return of the Maya (2000) deals with the return of a group of Mayan refugees to Guatemala .
His other works published include The Dry Season; Q'anjob'al Maya Poems(2001) and 13 B'aktun: La nueva era 2012 (El fin del ciclo desde la �ptica maya contempor�nea) (2006). Gonz�lez�s two novels, collection of poetry and his text on Maya literature are widely used in university classrooms.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Deporting the American Dream (repost)

Read entire article here

Deporting the American Dream

El Salvadorean Deportees Create Hybrid Culture

New America Media, News Report, Video, Josue Rojas, Posted: Apr 02, 2008

Editor’s Note: Recent reports have shown that in some states, the number of police referrals to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has nearly doubled in the past year. A report by TRAC shows that ICE has the highest number of referrals for federal criminal prosecution of all law enforcement agencies. In El Salvador, these deportees are affecting the culture of the nation with their Americanized ways, working at call centers and struggling to survive. Josue Rojas is an artist and writer from San Francisco’s Mission District.

Salvadorean deportees, or DPs, have a few things in common: they think in English, they’re young and they’re influential. They’re importers of the culture they carry inside — the niche, regional culture of the American city they grew up in. Be it New York talk, L.A. talk, N’lawins or D.C talk… they speak it. Culturally, they’re intimately in the know of something else that is arguably the coolest thing in the hemisphere: Americana.

This is a streaming MP4 video - you'll need Quicktime 6 or later to view it.

In a country celebrated in Central America as one of the region’s greatest friends to the U.S (and is often paraded as a flagship for development) the DP’s influence spreads. They are simultaneously embraced and rejected. They’re the cool kids that society hates to love — Central America’s most beloved, betrayed bad-asses.

The seven deportees I spoke to were not all members of the internationally infamous MS-13 gang, instead they were rappers and artists; they worked to remove tattoos and manned phone lines at call centers. They’re marginalized in a marginalized country –– foreign bodies amongst the harsh antibodies of a prejudice, hyper-conservative society still dealing with the duality of right-wing conservative culture and a stubborn attempt at a socialist revolution. Coming in by the tens of thousands each year, El Salvador is sweating from the fever of their infection. They’re the ones who couldn’t make it on the other side, yet they’re successful here.

Once you’re deported, you don’t fall into a black hole. Your life continues, and with it your dreams. Disappeared from North America and rejected by the mainstream in El Salvador, DPs emerge with a hybrid culture of their own. They haven’t lost the ‘American Dream’ – they’ve just been deported along with it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008