Dr. Walter Little of the University of Albany

Little to Address Mayan Textile Industry in Hartwick Lecture

March 25, 2019

The Hartwick College History Department will present Dr. Walter E. Little, professor and chair of the anthropology department at the University of Albany, who will be speaking about Mayan textiles production in Guatemala, and the associated political and tourism issues surrounding it. The lecture will be held Monday, April 1 at 6 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the College campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

“The practice of Maya textile practice—what is made, sold, and worn—has taken three different primary trajectories that correlate with the economic conditions of those who use and wear Guatemalan textiles,” Little said. “In this context of economy and politics, Maya vendors in tourism marketplaces are making hard decisions about what to wear and sell to represent Maya identities while offering critiques of newer machine-manufactured Maya clothing.”

“We are very honored to welcome Professor Little, a renowned scholar who studies the social-economics and politics of Latin American indigenous peoples,” said Professor of History & Department Chair Dr. Mieko Nishida. “Based on his ethnographic research in Guatemala and Mexico, Dr. Little will discuss identity politics and political economy through the exploration of Kaqchikel and K’ichee’ Mayas’ livelihoods as artisans and vendors in urban heritage sites.”

Little’s research focuses on the socio-economic and political lives of Latin Americans, primarily indigenous peoples. His multi-sited ethnographic research in Guatemala and Mexico combines political economy and symbolic/interpretive perspectives in order to better understand the politics of identity, international aid and economic development, heritage, and tourism in urban places, and handicrafts and marketplaces.

He is the author of more than 40 articles and 10 books and edited volumes. His monograph, “Mayas in the Marketplace: Tourism, Globalization, and Cultural Identity” (University of Texas Press, 2004), won Best Book of 2005 from the New England Council for Latin American Studies. His co-edited volume, “Street Economies in the Urban Global South” (School for Advanced Research Press, 2013) won the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize in 2014.

Little holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For additional information on the presentation, contact Nishida at 607-431-4839 or NishidaM@hartwick.edu.