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Accepted Paper:

Making History: Testimonies, and Women's Creation of Selves in Mexico  

Author:

Maria Cruz-Torres (Arizona State University)

Paper short abstract:

Wolf's famous dictum of "people without history" arises from his concern of how siloed social sciences contribute to the creation of voiceless populations. Testimonies voicing their histories are indelible and in opposition to this circumstance.

Paper long abstract:

Wolf's famous dictum of "people without history" arises from his concern of how siloed social sciences contribute to the creation of voiceless populations. This presentation discusses an effort to counter this tendency and make available in a holistic manner, through the medium of testimonies, the way in which market women in Sinaloa, Mexico struggled to create their own public voices. These often express their contentions with political authorities, and against the public devaluing of their economic activities. The testimonies voice their often-contentious realities and lived experiences, and these provide the opportunity to hear their voices for the first time as history makers and history tellers. Life histories collected during previous research serve as the basis for women's oral testimonies detailing their challenges and struggles to pursue their livelihoods amidst environmental degradation, violence, and economic change. Their voices contribute to a creation of their historical presence and will lead to a more congruent interpretation of the manner in which women's roles as workers, mothers, and wives are intertwined; how they negotiate these on a daily basis; and the environmental justice dimensions of natural resource allocation. Their testimonies bridge the gap between academic discourse and community understandings of the role and responsibility of the anthropologist towards providing an opportunity to develop their histories that are indelible and not construed within an academic silo.

Panel HI01
Connections and Exclusions: People Without History in Contemporary Contexts in the Global South.