Fear as a Way of Life

Editor's Overview

Green's analysis of the chronic experience of insecurity among women in Guatemala's Xe'caj region explores the structure of everyday fear in a context shaped by a colonial history; civil war; the presence of U.S. military personnel; and a host of racialized and gendered social divisions. The piece also provides a sustained reflection on the ethics of ethnographic fieldwork and representation, and is an excellent example of recent attempts by anthropologists to engage with the legacy of U.S. foreign policy.

Cultural Anthropology has published other articles about post-war Guatemala, including Diane M. Nelson's "Stumped Identities: Body Image, Bodies Politic and the Mujer Maya as Prosthetic" (2001).

Cultural Anthropology has also published numerous pieces about the intersection between anthropology and ethics. See, for example, Charles R. Hale's "Activist Research v. Cultural Critique: Indigenous Land Rights and the Contradictions of Politically Engaged Anthropology" (2006); Quetzil E. Castaneda's "Ethnography in the Forest: An Analysis of Ethics in the Morals of Anthropology" (2006); and Michael M. J. Fischer's "Anthropology as Cultural Critique: Inserts for the 1990s Cultural Studies of Science, Visual-Virtual Realities, and Post-Trauma Polities" (1991).

A number of essays in Cultural Anthropology have examined the legacies of violence and war, including Rosalind Shaw's "Displacing Violence: Making Pentecostal Memory in Postwar Sierra Leone" (2007); Christina Schwenkel's "Recombinant History: Transnational Practices of Memory and Knowledge Production in Contemporary Vietnam" (2006); and Orin Starn's "To Revolt against the Revolution: War and Resistance in Peru's Andes" (1995)

Related Links

"Guatemala: Memory of Silence," Guatemala Historical Clarification Commission report (English translation)

"Guatemala: Memoria del silencio," Guatemala Historical Clarification Commission report (Spanish)

Declassified CIA documents chronicling its involvement in Guatemala's 1954 coup

U.S. State Department documents on U.S. foreign policy in Guatemala, 1952-1954

American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics

American Anthropological Association debate and resolution on the U.S. military's "Human Terrain System Project"

"Anthropology at War" (Savage Minds Blog Discussion of the relationship between Anthropology and the U.S. military)

Multimedia

"After the Guatemalan War"

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