Gendered Embodied Structures of Violence: Mam Women Seeking Justice in Guatemala and the U.S.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

4:00 pm


Sponsored by:
Center for Latin American Studies

Prof. Lynn Stephen, Latin American Perspectives' (LAP) lecturer and keynote speaker of the "Access to Gendered Justice: Advances and Obstacles in Guatemala and the U.S. in Comparative Perspective" symposium (on March 8th, 2019), will open the symposium with a talk on Mam women seeking justice in Guatemala and the U.S.: The concept of gendered embodied structures of violence deliberately acts to disrupt an assumed public/private binary and to make visible plural forms of violence and suffering through their everyday, processual, and structural forms of operation. Speaking of gendered embodied structures challenges the idea that gendered and other violences can be directly imputed to distinct “state” or “non-state” actors. My research suggests that Mam women refugees are survivors of multiple, overlapping forms of gender violence. What is often termed “private” domestic violence cannot be parsed from forms of violence that link state, non-state, and private actors in interconnected networks of violence and authority. Historically, for example, the boundaries between violence-perpetrating state-and non-state actors have been blurred by the relations between Guatemala’s army and their supervision of state-mandated Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (PACs) known in English as civil patrols. Today such boundaries can be blurred between community sanctioned security committees and various levels of authority. The women refugees and their families analyzed here carried decades of gendered embodied structures of violence with them through multiple generations.

Lynn Stephen is Philip H. Knight Chair, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and a participating faculty member in Ethnic Studies, Latin American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She founded the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS, and served as director for 9 years (2007-2016), served as chair of the Department of Anthropology from 2001-2004, and was a co-coordinator for the Americas in a Globalized World “Big Idea,” Strategic Initiative at the University of Oregon from 2009-2011. She is the current Latin American Perspectives Lecturer at CLAS, and the president of the Latin American Studies Assosciation (LASA) the June 1, 2018 - June 1, 2019 cycle. She will serve as past president from June 2019-June 2020.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Free and open to the public 

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