WHO COUNTS THE MATHEMATICS OF DEATH AND LIFE AFTER GENOCIDE

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Who Counts

Author : Diane M. Nelson
ISBN : 9780822375074
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46.96 MB
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In Who Counts? Diane M. Nelson explores the social life of numbers, teasing out the myriad roles math plays in Guatemalan state violence, economic exploitation, and disenfranchisement, as well as in Mayan revitalization and grassroots environmental struggles. In the aftermath of thirty-six years of civil war, to count—both numerically and in the sense of having value—is a contested and qualitative practice of complex calculations encompassing war losses, migration, debt, and competing understandings of progress. Nelson makes broad connections among seemingly divergent phenomena, such as debates over reparations for genocide victims, Ponzi schemes, and antimining movements. Challenging the presumed objectivity of Western mathematics, Nelson shows how it flattens social complexity and becomes a raced, classed, and gendered skill that colonial powers considered beyond the grasp of indigenous peoples. Yet the Classic Maya are famous for the precision of their mathematics, including conceptualizing zero long before Europeans. Nelson shows how Guatemala's indigenous population is increasingly returning to Mayan numeracy to critique systemic inequalities with the goal of being counted—in every sense of the word.
Category: Social Science

War By Other Means

Author : Carlota McAllister
ISBN : 9780822377405
Genre : History
File Size : 33.43 MB
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Between 1960 and 1996, Guatemala's civil war claimed 250,000 lives and displaced one million people. Since the peace accords, Guatemala has struggled to address the legacy of war, genocidal violence against the Maya, and the dismantling of alternative projects for the future. War by Other Means brings together new essays by leading scholars of Guatemala from a range of geographical backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives. Contributors consider a wide range of issues confronting present-day Guatemala: returning refugees, land reform, gang violence, neoliberal economic restructuring, indigenous and women's rights, complex race relations, the politics of memory, and the challenges of sustaining hope. From a sweeping account of Guatemalan elites' centuries-long use of violence to suppress dissent to studies of intimate experiences of complicity and contestation in richly drawn localities, War by Other Means provides a nuanced reckoning of the injustices that made genocide possible and the ongoing attempts to overcome them. Contributors. Santiago Bastos, Jennifer Burrell, Manuela Camus, Matilde González-Izás, Jorge Ramón González Ponciano, Greg Grandin, Paul Kobrak, Deborah T. Levenson, Carlota McAllister, Diane M. Nelson, Elizabeth Oglesby, Luis Solano, Irmalicia Velásquez Nimatuj, Paula Worby
Category: History

A Finger In The Wound

Author : Diane M. Nelson
ISBN : 0520920600
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73.58 MB
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Many Guatemalans speak of Mayan indigenous organizing as "a finger in the wound." Diane Nelson explores the implications of this painfully graphic metaphor in her far-reaching study of the civil war and its aftermath. Why use a body metaphor? What body is wounded, and how does it react to apparent further torture? If this is the condition of the body politic, how do human bodies relate to it—those literally wounded in thirty-five years of war and those locked in the equivocal embrace of sexual conquest, domestic labor, mestizaje, and social change movements? Supported by three and a half years of fieldwork since 1985, Nelson addresses these questions—along with the jokes, ambivalences, and structures of desire that surround them—in both concrete and theoretical terms. She explores the relations among Mayan cultural rights activists, ladino (nonindigenous) Guatemalans, the state as a site of struggle, and transnational forces including Nobel Peace Prizes, UN Conventions, neo-liberal economics, global TV, and gringo anthropologists. Along with indigenous claims and their effect on current attempts at reconstituting civilian authority after decades of military rule, Nelson investigates the notion of Quincentennial Guatemala, which has given focus to the overarching question of Mayan—and Guatemalan—identity. Her work draws from political economy, cultural studies, and psychoanalysis, and has special relevance to ongoing discussions of power, hegemony, and the production of subject positions, as well as gender issues and histories of violence as they relate to postcolonial nation-state formation.
Category: Social Science

Reckoning

Author : Diane M. Nelson
ISBN : 9780822389408
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41.16 MB
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Following the 1996 treaty ending decades of civil war, how are Guatemalans reckoning with genocide, especially since almost everyone contributed in some way to the violence? Meaning “to count, figure up” and “to settle rewards and punishments,” reckoning promises accounting and accountability. Yet as Diane M. Nelson shows, the means by which the war was waged, especially as they related to race and gender, unsettled the very premises of knowing and being. Symptomatic are the stories of duplicity pervasive in postwar Guatemala, as the left, the Mayan people, and the state were each said to have “two faces.” Drawing on more than twenty years of research in Guatemala, Nelson explores how postwar struggles to reckon with traumatic experience illuminate the assumptions of identity more generally. Nelson brings together stories of human rights activism, Mayan identity struggles, coerced participation in massacres, and popular entertainment—including traditional dances, horror films, and carnivals—with analyses of mass-grave exhumations, official apologies, and reparations. She discusses the stereotype of the Two-Faced Indian as colonial discourse revivified by anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency and by the claims of duplicity leveled against the Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú, and she explores how duplicity may in turn function as a survival strategy for some. Nelson examines suspicions that state power is also two-faced, from the left’s fears of a clandestine para-state behind the democratic façade, to the right’s conviction that NGOs threaten Guatemalan sovereignty. Her comparison of antimalaria and antisubversive campaigns suggests biopolitical ways that the state is two-faced, simultaneously giving and taking life. Reckoning is a view from the ground up of how Guatemalans are finding creative ways forward, turning ledger books, technoscience, and even gory horror movies into tools for making sense of violence, loss, and the future.
Category: Social Science

Left To Tell

Author : Immaculée Ilibagiza
ISBN : 9781401944902
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 20.3 MB
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The remarkable New York Times bestseller has been updated with a new Afterword by Immaculée, in which she looks back at the 20 years that have passed since the Rwandan holocaust. You won’t want to miss her views on how life has changed for her and her country since this terrible event took place.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Science And An African Logic

Author : Helen Verran
ISBN : 9780226853918
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 22.56 MB
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Does 2 + 2 = 4? Ask almost anyone and they will unequivocally answer yes. A basic equation such as this seems the very definition of certainty, but is it? In this captivating book, Helen Verran addresses precisely that question by looking at how science, mathematics, and logic come to life in Yoruba primary schools. Drawing on her experience as a teacher in Nigeria, Verran describes how she went from the radical conclusion that logic and math are culturally relative, to determining what Westerners find so disconcerting about Yoruba logic, to a new understanding of all generalizing logic. She reveals that in contrast to the one-to-many model found in Western number systems, Yoruba thinking operates by figuring things as wholes and their parts. Quantity is not absolute but always relational. Certainty is derived not from abstract logic, but from cultural practices and associations. A powerful story of how one woman's investigation in this everday situation led to extraordinary conclusions about the nature of numbers, generalization, and certainty, this book will be a signal contribution to philosophy, anthropology of science, and education.
Category: Philosophy

Livre Noir Du Communisme

Author : Stéphane Courtois
ISBN : 0674076087
Genre : History
File Size : 36.55 MB
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Collects and analyzes seventy years of communist crimes that offer details on Kim Sung's Korea, Vietnam under "Uncle Ho," and Cuba under Castro.
Category: History

The Social Life Of Spirits

Author : Ruy Blanes
ISBN : 9780226081809
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75.23 MB
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Spirits can be haunters, informants, possessors, and transformers of the living, but more than anything anthropologists have understood them as representations of something else—symbols that articulate facets of human experience in much the same way works of art do. The Social Life of Spirits challenges this notion. By stripping symbolism from the way we think about the spirit world, the contributors of this book uncover a livelier, more diverse environment of entities—with their own histories, motivations, and social interactions—providing a new understanding of spirits not as symbols, but as agents. The contributors tour the spiritual globe—the globe of nonthings—in essays on topics ranging from the Holy Ghost in southern Africa to spirits of the “people of the streets” in Rio de Janeiro to dragons and magic in Britain. Avoiding a reliance on religion and belief systems to explain the significance of spirits, they reimagine spirits in a rich network of social trajectories, ultimately arguing for a new ontological ground upon which to examine the intangible world and its interactions with the tangible one.
Category: Social Science

Gypsy Economy

Author : Micol Brazzabeni
ISBN : 9781782388869
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.81 MB
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Economic arrangements of Romanies are complexly related to their social position. The authors of this volume explore these complexities, including how economic exchanges forge key social relationships of gender and ethnicity, how economic opportunities are constructed and seized, and how economic success and failure are transformed into attributes of social persons. They explore how, despite - or perhaps because of - their unstable and ambiguous position within the market economy, shared today with a growing number of people facing precarity and informalisation, Roma and Gypsy communities continuously re-create more or less viable economic strategies. The ethnographically based chapters share accounts of socially and economically vulnerable populations that face their situation with self-determination and creativity.
Category: Social Science

Death By Government

Author : R. J. Rummel
ISBN : 1412821290
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 32.80 MB
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This is R. J. Rummel's fourth book in a series devoted to genocide and government mass murder, or what he calls democide. He presents the primary results, in tables and figures, as well as a historical sketch of the major cases of democide, those in which one million or more people were killed by a regime. In Death by Government, Rummel does not aim to describe democide itself, but to determine its nature and scope in order to test the theory that democracies are inherently nonviolent. Rummel discusses genocide in China, Nazi Germany, Japan, Cambodia, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Poland, the Soviet Union, and Pakistan. He also writes about areas of suspected genocide: North Korea, Mexico, and feudal Russia. His results clearly and decisively show that democracies commit less democide than other regimes. The underlying principle is that the less freedom people have, the greater the violence; the more freedom, the less the violence. Thus, as Rummel says, “The problem is power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.” Death by Government is a compelling look at the horrors that occur in modern societies. It depicts how democide has been very much a part of human history. Among other examples, the book includes the massacre of Europeans during the Thirty Years' War, the relatively unknown genocide of the French Revolution, and the slaughtering of American Indians by colonists in the New World. This riveting account is an essential tool for historians, political scientists, and scholars interested in the study of genocide.
Category: Political Science