Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Technology, and Social Networks in Mexico and Central America

Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Technology, and Social Networks in Mexico and Central America


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Cultural preservation, linguistic revitalization, intellectual heritage, and environmental sustainability became central to Indigenous movements in Mexico and Central America after 1992. While the emergence of these issues triggered important conversations, none to date have examined the role that new media has played in accomplishing their objectives.

Indigenous Interfaces provides the first thorough examination of indigeneity at the interface of cyberspace. Correspondingly, it examines the impact of new media on the struggles for self-determination that Indigenous peoples undergo in Mexico and Central America. The volume’s contributors highlight the fresh approaches that Mesoamerica’s Indigenous peoples have given to new media—from YouTubing Maya rock music to hashtagging in Zapotec. Together, they argue that these cyberspatial activities both maintain tradition and ensure its continuity. Without considering the implications of new technologies, Indigenous Interfaces argues, twenty-first-century indigeneity in Mexico and Central America cannot be successfully documented, evaluated, and comprehended.

Indigenous Interfaces rejects the myth that indigeneity and information technology are incompatible through its compelling analysis of the relationships between Indigenous peoples and new media. The volume illustrates how Indigenous peoples are selectively and strategically choosing to interface with cybertechnology, highlights Indigenous interpretations of new media, and brings to center Indigenous communities who are resetting modes of communication and redirecting the flow of information. It convincingly argues that interfacing with traditional technologies simultaneously with new media gives Indigenous peoples an edge on the claim to autonomous and sovereign ways of being Indigenous in the twenty-first century.

Arturo Arias
Debra A. Castillo
Gloria Elizabeth Chacón
Adam W. Coon
Emiliana Cruz
Tajëëw Díaz Robles
Mauricio Espinoza
Alicia Ivonne Estrada
Jennifer Gómez Menjívar
Sue P. Haglund
Brook Danielle Lillehaugen
Paul Joseph López Oro
Rita M. Palacios
Gabriela Spears-Rico
Paul Worley

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816538003
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Series: Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 830,279
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Gómez Menjívar is an associate professor of Spanish and Latin American studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is the co-author of Tropical Tongues: Language Ideologies, Endangerment, and Minority Languages in Belize.
Gloria Elizabeth Chacón is an associate professor in the Literature Department at University of California, San Diego. She is the author of Indigenous Cosmolectics: Kab’awil and the Making of Maya and Zapotec Literatures.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Indigenous Subjects and the Mastering of Science Arturo Arias ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: No Static: Re-Indigenizing Technology Jennifer Gómez Menjívar Gloria Elizabeth Chacón 3

Part I Problematizing Technology

1 (Re)Technologizing the Word: Recording, Knowledge, and the Decolonial Aesthetics of Maya Ts'íib Paul M. Worley Rita M. Palacios 33

2 Dule Molas: The Counterpoint-Counterplot Practice of the Traversable Cloth in (Non)Digital Realms Sue P. Haglund 56

3 Using Technology to Revitalize Endangered Languages: Mixe and Chatino Case Studies Emiliana Cruz Tajëëw Robles 79

Part II Cyberspatial Nation Building

4 YouTubing Maya Rock: B'itzma Sobrevivencia's Aural Memory of Survival Alicia Ivonne Estrada 99

5 Trafficked Babies, Exploded Futures: Jayro Bustamante's Ixcanul Debra A. Castillo 119

6 Joysticks and Jaguars: Bribri-Inspired Games in Neoliberal Costa Rica Mauricio Espinoza 141

Part III Indigenizing Social Media

7 Digitizing Ancestral Memory: Garifuna Settlement Day in the Americas and in Cyberspace Paul Joseph López Oro 165

8 In a Time of War and Hashtags: Rehumanizing Indigeneity in the Digital Landscape Gabriela Spears-Rico 180

9 Tweeting in Zapotec: Social Media as a Tool for Language Activism Brook Danielle Lillehaugen 201

10 From Facebook to Ixamoxtli: Nahua Activism through Social Networking Adam Coon 227

Contributors 253

Index 259


Scholars of Latin American Studies, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, and Indigenous Studies.

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