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Language Futures from Uprooted Pasts: Emergent Language Activism in the Mayan Diaspora of the United States


The thesis observes the role of life experiences with language in the production of new political orientations among diaspora of Mayans from the Highlands of Guatemala. This is accomplished through the analysis of life histories of Mayan interpreters that focus on how experiences of language have directed their life courses and careers. Interpreters’ narratives of these life paths reveal moments of insight in which they transform their identities, political orientations, and methods of advancing their communities. Such resonant moments draw attention to the personal in the formation of a more general indigenous diasporic political horizon.

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