Friday, April 18, 2008

Author speaks Monday on Mayan immigration to Rhode Island

Patricia Foxen, formerly with Vanderbilt University and now with University of Toronto's Anthropology Dept. and an Anthropologist and Scientific Associate at Toronto General Hospital, will speak Monday evening 5-7 p.m. at Vanderbilt's Buttrick Hall about her recently published book, "In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities."

The book "is a fascinating analysis of the experiences of a community of K'iche' Mayans, the largest indigenous group in Guatemala, who have been migrating to Providence, RI over the past two decades," according to Manuel Angel Castillo, Colegio de Mexico. These immigrants live "in a context of growing hostility toward undocumented migrants in the country of settlement, and in the face of turmoil at home--both of which have left deep marks" and are described by one reviewer, Francisco Goldman, as "one of the most complex and tragic immigrant communities in the United States: the Guatemalan highland Maya of Providence, Rhode Island, for whom coming to the U.S. hardly means leaving Guatemala's horror or cultural pathologies behind."

And, "With her in-depth case study of Guatemalan K'iche migrants from Xinxuc to Providence, Rhode Island, Patricia Foxen has filled a significant gap in the literature on Guatemalan migration to the U.S. This beautifully nuanced account captures the complexities of reproduced, changing and multiple K'iche identities in new settings, and of Mayan transnational practices. It also provides a window for seeing the contradictions of post-war rural Guatemala." --Susanne Jonas, University of California, Santa Cruz

More reviews here

Patricia Foxen (PhD 2002; MA 1994, McGill University; MPH 1990, Columbia University) is an expert on Latin American violence, post-war reconstruction and development; migration and forced displacement; cultural identity and psychosocial well-being; and questions surrounding health and gender in the Americas. (Full Bio available at:

Speaking Monday, April 21, 5-7 p.m. in Buttrick Hall on Vanderbilt Campus; Buttrick is West of the Central Library, off the Library Lawn -

Parking is available off 21st Ave. South near the library, plus metered parking on West End is Free after 6 p.m.

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