Current Institutional Affiliation
Director of Academic Affairs, Euromed Institute

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of California / Davis
Silent Negotiations: Women, Human Rights, and Citizenship in Post-War Guatemala

I propose to investigate the role of women in the promotion of an inclusive culture of citizenship in a war-torn and ethnically-divided nation. Challenging essentialist notions of feminine political practice, while exploring the gendered nature of political negotiation, my research will reframe standard inquiries into women's mobilizations. Its focus on power dynamics expressed through gender and ethnicity links women's negotiations of cross-community alliance-building to broader processes of national identity construction. In this way, it will place women's increasing importance as politicized members of emergent civil societies at the center of debates on whether the achievements of new social movements are limited because they ignore underlying structures of power. My research will illuminate the processes by which citizens are constructed--a concept that signifies status of membership within a nation, and defines the context in which fundamental structures of power and exclusion are deployed. Utilizing anthropological methods, this investigation will be conducted in Guatemala City (where my target organizations are based), and in two rural Mayan communities (where they work). My dissertation research will contribute to theoretical debates by furthering our knowledge of: 1) the complex interplay of gender and ethnicity in the processes by which citizens are constructed; 2) way in which new forms of ethnic and national citizenship are being constituted on the ground; and 3) the transformative potential of new social movements.