Upcoming CLACS Event: Book Launch and Discussion of Paja Faudree's Singing for the Dead: The Politics of Indigenous Revival in Mexico

February 24, 2014

On Monday, March 3, CLACS and the Department of Anthropology will present a book launch and panel discussion of Singing for the Dead: The Politics of Indigenous Revival in Mexico by Paja Faudree of the Department of Anthropology.

The discussants will be Matthew Gutmann (Brown University), Jean Jackson (MIT), and David Samuels (NYU).

The event will be held in McKinney Conference Room at 5:00 PM. 

A summary of the book follows:

"Singing for the Dead chronicles ethnic revival in Oaxaca, Mexico, where new forms of singing and writing in the local Mazatec indigenous language are producing powerful, transformative political effects. Paja Faudree argues for the inclusion of singing as a necessary component in the polarized debates about indigenous orality and literacy, and she considers how the coupling of literacy and song has allowed people from the region to create texts of enduring social resonance. She examines how local young people are learning to read and write in Mazatec as a result of the region's new Day of the Dead song contest. Faudree also studies how tourist interest in local psychedelic mushrooms has led to their commodification, producing both opportunities and challenges for songwriters and others who represent Mazatec culture. She situates these revival movements within the contexts of Mexico and Latin America, as well as the broad, hemisphere-wide movement to create indigenous literatures. Singing for the Dead provides a new way to think about the politics of ethnicity, the success of social movements, and the limits of national belonging."

This event is free and open to the public.