Arturo Arias: Indigeneities Resurgent: New/Old Ways of Knowing in Mesoamerican Indigenous Narratives, Monday, February 29, 2016, 10:00am-12:00pm, Charles E. Merrill Lounge

October 14, 2015

By , Professor of Literature and co-coordinator of the Latino Literary Cultures Project  

The CLRC welcomes Arturo Arias, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of California, Merced, to UC Santa Cruz, for a free, public seminar based on his current project:  a three-volume analysis of indigenous literatures in Latin America.  Light refeshments will be served.   

Attendees should request a copy of the seminar reading after February 15 by emailing or

arturo-arias-headshotArturo Arias is the foremost scholar of Central American literary and cultural studies in the United States, as well as a major theorist of indigenous knowledge production.  His books include Taking Their Word:  Literature and the Signs of Central America (2007), The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy (2000), The Identity of the Word:  Guatemalan Literature in Light of the New Century (1998), and Ceremonial Gestures: Central American Fiction 1960-1990 (1998), as well as a critical edition of Miguel Angel Asturias’s Mulata (2000).  As President of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) from 2001-2003, he helped push the field to redress its longstanding neglect of Central American studies.  In widely cited essays such as “Central American-Americans:  Invisibility, Power And Representation in The U.S. Latino World,” he has similarly challenged Latino Studies to rethink its paradigms around the presence of Salvadoran-, Guatemalan-, Honduran-, and other Central American-American populations.

Professor Arias is also a prominent writer who has published six novels in Spanish, two of which have been translated into English (After the Bombs and Rattlesnake).  Twice winner of the prestigious Casa de las Américas Award, and winner of the Ana Seghers Award for fiction in Germany, he was given the Miguel Angel Asturias National Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature in 2008 in his native Guatemala.  He co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for El Norte (1984), a pathbreaking film that enlightened many U.S. audiences about la violencia in Guatemala in the 1980s, as well as about the migrant experience. Professor Arias recently joined the faculty at UC Merced.  Previously, he was Tomás Rivera Regents Professor in Latin American Literature at the University of Texas at Austin.

The CLRC is proud to cosponsor this free, public lecture with the 
Departments of Latin American and Latino Studies and Literature.