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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

New Publications by LLILAS-Affiliated Faculty

Posted: February 24, 2010
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Three University of Texas faculty members affiliated with LLILAS recently have published books, ranging in subject from Guatemala under Rios Montt to why some constitutions endure longer than others to the gendered dimensions of citizenship experiences.

Virginia Garrard-Burnett, Professor of History, is author of “Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala Under General Efrain Rios Montt, 1982–1983,” published by Oxford University Press in January 2010. Through the lens of history, her book examines the scorched-earth campaign of the Guatemalan military government against the largely Mayan rural communities. Tens of thousands perished during the period that became known as “la violencia.” Drawing on primary materials only recently available, including guerrilla documents, speech transcripts, and declassified U.S. government records, Garrard-Burnett paints a detailed portrait of what transpired under the rule of Rios Montt.

While constitutions are intended to provide an enduring structure for politics, surprisingly only half last longer than nineteen years. In “The Endurance of National Constitutions” (Cambridge University Press, Fall 2009), Assistant Professor of Government Zachary Elkins and coauthors Tom Ginsburg and James Melton examine the causes of constitutional endurance from an institutional perspective. Using original cross-national data, they demonstrate that despite social and political crises that can imperil constitutions,  certain aspects of their design can lower their vulnerability to these risks. They also address the idea of whether endurance is actually desirable.

Associate Professor of Anthropology Lok Siu is coeditor of “Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture” (Palgrave Macmillan, Fall 2009) with Kia Lilly Caldwell, Kathleen Coll, Tracy Fisher, and Renya K. Ramirez. This broad anthology looks at the gendered dimensions of citizenship experiences as a jumping-off point for rethinking contemporary practices of social inclusion and belonging, covering communities in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States. By analyzing intersecting racial/ethnic, gender, class, and national/tribal Identities, this collection situates the experiences of women of color and Third World women at the center of our understanding of citizenship.

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