UNC Spanish professor is first Teaching International guest speaker
Emilio Del Valle Escalante, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present Penn State Lehigh Valley's first Teaching International lecture at 11 a.m., March 20, in room 304 at the campus in Center Valley. Del Valle Escalante will discuss "The Discursive Economy of the Maya Movement in Guatemala." The lecture is free and open to the public.
In this presentation Del Valle Escalante analyzes contemporary Maya textual production and its role in the process of indigenous cultural, linguistic, and political affirmation in Guatemala. He focuses on the Maya cultural rights movement by analyzing the discursive constructions of the Maya subject developed by Gaspar Pedro González, Víctor Montejo, and Demetrio Cojtí. By exploring the indigenous cultural identity these authors construct in their texts, he intends to show how the Maya subject these authors imagine rests on implicit assumptions of fixed identities that carry the danger of recycling the colonialism and ethnocentricism they criticize. He argues that despite the fact that the Maya cultural rights tendency affirms a Maya locus of enunciation, indigenous people’s dignity, and new visions of the world that help redefine the Guatemalan nation-state as multicultural, their proposals empower certain indigenous subjects while obscure and marginalize the agency of others whose experiences of resistance and self-affirmation operate in urban, transnational, and globalized settings.
Teaching International at Penn State University has developed into a model of global education anchored in curriculum innovation, student-centered research and teaching, and engaged global citizenship. Course lectures, class projects, field trips, public debates, service learning activities, theatrical productions, films, and guest lectures are some of the methods used to help students learn about the world. Enhanced learning opportunities and academic dialogue among students, faculty, and staff strengthens the international competencies of students, and fosters collaborative efforts between the campus and various community groups and academic institutions. Teaching International at Penn State Lehigh Valley is a campus-wide academic initiative modeled after the program at Penn State Greater Allegheny which aims to enhance our own campus dynamics and community.