Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2014 - 7/31/2014

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

The Transnational Construction of Mayanness: Reading Modern Mesoamerica through U.S. Archives

FAIN: FT-61649-14

Ben Wallace Fallaw
Colby College (Waterville, ME 04901-8840)

Ethnobiographies (slave narratives, Rigoberta Menchu's) usually explore racism and ethnic self-discovery, central themes in the human experience of the Americas. My ethnobiography of Bartolome Garcia (1893-1978), mestizo (mixed race) governor of Yucatan, Mexico, reveals his conflictive public and private relationship with indigeneity, a dilemma shared by mestizos across the hemisphere. Garcia pioneered mestizo politics, celebrating a romanticized Maya past in architecture, archaeology, literature, even opera, while promoting the assimilation of contemporary indigenous people. To analyze his life and its historical context, I engage interdisciplinary discussions of indigeneity, mestizaje (racial and cultural mixing), state formation, modernity, and the politics of cultural production. By exploring the Maya's struggle to preserve community and culture, the book will contribute to the ethnohistory of the Americas as well.

Media Coverage

La leyenda negra de la historia de Yucatan (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Victor Sandorval
Publication: Yucatan Informativa
Date: 7/31/2014
Abstract: Coverage of a talk I gave on the life of Bartolome Garcia Correa in the town hall of Uman, Mexico, his home town, on July 23, 2014

Lecture at the Autonomous University of Yucatan (Media Coverage)
Author(s): JMRM
Publication: Informacion de lo Nuevo
Date: 6/22/2016
Abstract: Coverage of a talk I gave about the subject of my NEH grant, Bartolome Garcia Correa, at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan on June 21, 2016.

Associated Products

The Transnational Construction of Mayanness: Reading Modern Mesoamerica through U.S. Archives (Book)
Title: The Transnational Construction of Mayanness: Reading Modern Mesoamerica through U.S. Archives
Editor: Ben Fallaw
Editor: Fernando Armstrong-Fumero
Abstract: The Transnational Construction of Mayanness explores how US academics, travelers, officials, and capitalists contributed to the construction of the Maya as an area of academic knowledge and affected the lives of the Maya peoples who were the subject of generations of anthropological research from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Expanding discussions of the neocolonial relationship between the US and its southern neighbors and emphasizing little-studied texts virtually inaccessible to those in Mexico and Central America, this is the first and only set of comparative studies to bring in US based documentary collections as an enriching source of evidence. Contributors tap documentary, ethnographic, and ethnoarchaeological sources from North America to expand established categories of fieldwork or archival research conducted within the national spaces of Mexico and Central America. A particularly rich and diverse set of case studies interrogate the historical processes that remove sources from their place of production in the “field” to the U.S, challenge the conventional wisdom regarding the geography of data sources that are available for research, and reveal a range of historical relationships that enabled US actors to shape the historical experience of Maya-speaking peoples. The Transnational Construction of Mayanness offers rich insight into transnational relations and suggests new avenues of research that incorporate an expanded corpus of materials that embody the deep-seated relationship between Maya-speaking peoples and various gringo interlocutors. The work is an important bridge between Mayanist anthropology and historiography and broader literatures in American Studies, Atlantic Studies, and Indigenous Studies.
Year: 2023
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: forthcoming
Copy sent to NEH?: No