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The Guatemala Collection

Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991)

Populated predominantly by indígenas (indigenous peoples) who speak Kaqchikel-Maya, Sacatepéquez department offers an excellent window into Latin American and Native American history. Located in the central highlands of Guatemala, it was home to two colonial capitals and is contiguous with the nation’s contemporary capital. Throughout the colonial and national eras, indigenous people farmed to feed themselves and the regions (and capitals) that surrounded them. Through arduous and often corvée labor, they also built much of the infrastructure in their communities and nation. Crucial to Guatemala’s colonial and national development, indígenas were largely discounted and denigrated. Despite such discrimination and disadvantages, many found ways to survive and thrive. Often converging at the nexus of modernization and tradition, the documents in this collection convey the complicated hybrid history of a nation striving to present itself as progressive and civilized in an Atlantic world that seldom associated those qualities with indigeneity. Penned primarily by non-indigenous elites, authorities, and scribes, the documents in this collection explore complex ethnic, racial, class, and gender relations and how they changed over time.

Spanning more than four hundred years, The Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991) concentrates primarily on the national era, particularly 1824-1948. The vast majority of the documents—correspondence, annual reports, statistics, letters, litigation—found within The Guatemala Collection are copies from the Archivo General de Centroamérica and the Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano “Francisco de Paula García Peláez” (formerly known as Archivo Eclesiástico de Guatemala) in Guatemala City. In recent years, the latter has seldom been opened to the public. Colonial documents mainly come from the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. A few of the documents and transcripts come from the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) in Antigua. In general, the documents are organized by place, theme, and chronology.

The Guatemala Collection comprises ten series. Eight of the series are titled after the department or municipality to which the documents correspond. The remaining two series—Colonial Documents and Secondary Sources—are titled descriptively. Although they also present findings and information concerning Sacatepéquez and its municipalities, for reasons of chronology and the nature of the documents, these series have been set apart from the main collection. The secondary source documents, which were authored primarily by the donor and historian Christopher Lutz, scholar and researcher Héctor Concohá, historian Wendy Kramer, and anthropologist Sheldon Annis, are notes, commentaries, descriptions, indexes, syntheses, and analyses of materials included in the collection itself or from the archives. Across these ten series, the documents of the collection are organized into fifty-seven distinct classifications that include such themes as economy, agriculture, forced labor, complaints, crime, annual reports, natural disasters, municipal affairs, education, elections, military, public works, religion, public health, lands and estates, development, resignations and solicitations, regulations, festivities, and maps. The majority of the documents are labeled by Concohá as to their years and subject matter.

Although Lutz initially was explicit in his research requests, after his exile from Guatemala in 1980, the project took on a life of its own as Concohá continuously widened the parameters of the research. Consequently, The Guatemala Collection houses a rich array of government, church, and civil documents that bear testimony to an indigenous population’s struggle and success with the changing social, economic, political, and religious dynamics of colonial and independent rule.

Image artwork: Caroline Salvin, Dueñas de la puerta de la casa, octubre de 1873 ( Dueñas from the house door, October 1873; watercolor)


Eugene Gogol

Utopia and the Dialectic in Latin American Liberation begins by examining the concept of utopia in Latin American thought, particularly its roots within indigenous emancipatory practice, and suggests that within this concept of utopia can be found a resonance with the dialectic of negativity that Hegel developed under the impact of the French Revolution, further developed by such thinker-activists as Marx, Lenin and Raya Dunayevskaya. From this theoretical-philosophical plane, the study moves to the liberation practices of social movements in recent Latin American history. Movements such as the Zapatistas in Mexico, Indigenous feminism throughout the Americas, and Indigenous struggles in Bolivia and Colombia, are among those taken up--most often in the words of the participants. The study concludes by discussing a dialectic of philosophy and organization in the context of Latin American liberation.

The Yearning for Relief

A History of the Sawaba Movement in Niger


Klaas van Walraven

The Sawaba movement and its rebellion in Niger are a totally neglected subject. Klaas van Walraven traces this story from a social history perspective, placing an entire generation of activists, removed from the official record, back into mainstream Nigérien history. Representing a genuine social movement, Sawaba formed Niger’s first autonomous government under French suzerainty. Overthrown by the Gaullists and persecuted, it attempted a comeback with a guerrilla campaign (1960-1966), which ended in failure and led to the movement’s destruction.
The Yearning for Relief – based on numerous interviews with survivors and a vast range of archival sources, including France’s secret service – is essential reading for the reappraisal of Niger’s history and the role of militant nationalist movements in the decolonisation of French West Africa.


G. Anthony Keddie

Galilee: Overman 1988; 1997; 2014; Edwards 1988; 1992; Meyers 1997; Strange 1997; Aviam 2004; 2013a. Two major voices in these discussions have tended to be less polarizing, but over time, generally have moved from imagining reciprocity to emphasizing parasitism: Freyne (1980, 121–37; 1992; 1995; and

Workers, Unions and Politics

Indonesia in the 1920s and 1930s


John Ingleson

In Workers, Unions and Politics. Indonesia in the 1920s and 1930s, John Ingleson revises received understandings of the decade and a half between the failed communist uprisings of 1926/1927 and the Japanese occupation in 1942. They were important years for the labour movement. It had to recover from the crackdown by the colonial state and then cope with the impact of the 1930s depression. Labour unions were voices for greater social justice, for stronger legal protection and for improved opportunities for workers. They created a discourse of social rights and wage justice. They were major contributors to the growth of a stronger civil society.
The experiences and remembered histories of these years helped shape the agendas of post-independence labour unions.

Roots of Empire

Forests and State Power in Early Modern Spain, c.1500-1750


John T. Wing

Roots of Empire is the first monograph to connect forest management and state-building in the early modern Spanish global monarchy. The Spanish crown's control over valuable sources of shipbuilding timber in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines was critical for developing and sustaining its maritime empire. This book examines Spain's forest management policies from the sixteenth century through the middle of the eighteenth century, connecting the global imperial level with local lived experiences in forest communities impacted by this manifestation of expanded state power. As home to the early modern world's most extensive forestry bureaucracy, Spain met serious political, technological, and financial limitations while still managing to address most of its timber needs without upending the social balance.

Other Fronts, Other Wars?

First World War Studies on the Eve of the Centennial


Edited by Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani

Other Fronts, Other Wars? goes beyond the Western Front geographically and delves behind the trenches focusing on the social and cultural history of the First World War: it covers front experiences in the Ottoman and Russian Armies, captivity in Japan and Turkey, occupation at the Eastern war theatre, medical history (epidemics in Serbia, medical treatment in Germany) and war relief (disabled soldiers in Austria). It studies the home front from the aspect of gender (loosing manliness), transnational comparisons (provincial border towns) and culture (home front entertainments in European metropoles) and gives insight on how attitudes were shaped through intellectual wars of scientists and through commemoration in Serbia. Thus the volume offers a wide range of new approaches to the history of the First World War.
Contributors are Kate Arrioti, Altai Atlı, Gunda Barth-Scalmani, Joachim Bürgschwentner, Wolfram Dornik, Indira Durakovic, Matthias Egger, Maciej Górny, Andrea Griffante, Ke-chin Hsia, Rudolf Kučera, Eva Krivanec, Stephan Lehnstaedt, Bernhard Liemann, Tilman Lüdke, Andrea McKenzie, Mahon Murphy, Nicolas Patin, Livia Prüll, Philipp Rauh, Paul Simmons, Christian Steppan and Katarina Todić.


Edited by Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Gunvald Nilsen

Marxism and Social Movements is the first sustained engagement between social movement theory and Marxist approaches to collective action. The chapters collected here, by leading figures in both fields, discuss the potential for a Marxist theory of social movements; explore the developmental processes and political tensions within movements; set the question in a long historical perspective; and analyse contemporary movements against neo-liberalism and austerity.

Exploring struggles on six continents over 150 years, this collection shows the power of Marxist analysis in relation not only to class politics, labour movements and revolutions but also anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles, community activism and environmental justice, indigenous struggles and anti-austerity protest. It sets a new agenda both for Marxist theory and for movement research.

Contributors include: Paul Blackledge, Marc Blecher, Patrick Bond,Chik Collins, Ralph Darlington, Neil Davidson, Ashwin Desai, Jeff Goodwin, Chris Hesketh, Gabriel Hetland, Elizabeth Humphrys, Christian Høgsbjerg, David McNally, Trevor Ngwane, Heike Schaumberg and Hira Singh.