Debra Rodman, Ph.D.
Randolph-Macon College will host a lecture titled “Maya Migrant Communities: Lived
Experiences of Migration” on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Washington-Franklin
Hall. A reception to meet the authors will be held at 6:00 p.m. in Washington-Franklin
Hall. The reception and lecture are free and open to the public.
James Loucky, editor of The Maya Diaspora, and Patricia Foxen, author of
Searching for Providence: Maya Transnational Identities, will present the
lecture. The lecture will be presented in conjunction with Dr. Debra Rodman’s
R-MC course, Gender and the Maya Diaspora. The course explores the diversity
of women’s familial, political, economic and social realities in the Maya Diaspora,
with particular attention given to the shifting gender and cultural patterns from
pre-colonial times to the present. The course also examines the concept of Diaspora,
the processes of cultural change, resistance, and retention, and the role that gender
plays in these processes.
The current focus on immigration of Latin Americans to the U.S. and the large population
of indigenous Maya who are a part of this immigration stream make this a topical
presentation. The subject is especially significant to the college because students
regularly travel to Guatemala for J-term and summer courses. Rodman teaches courses
on Maya migration and currently has students volunteering with Maya migrants.
James Loucky is a renowned anthropologist and editor of The Maya Diaspora:
Guatemalan Roots, New American Lives (Temple University Press, 2000).
He has worked with Latin American immigrant communities in the United States and
Canada for 25 years. In addition to following the development of the transnational
Maya population, he has collaborated with immigrant organizations and attorneys
on refugee issues, community development and education concerns. His teaching and
research emphases include international migration, border regions, Latin America,
human rights and global problems.
Dr. Patricia Foxen is the associate director of research at the National
Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization
in the United States. Foxen is a cultural and medical anthropologist who has worked
at Vanderbilt University and the University of Toronto. In addition, she worked
as a researcher for the women's health program at Toronto General Hospital and the
transcultural psychiatry department at Montreal Children's Hospital. Foxen’s areas
of interest include violence and post-war reconstruction, migration and displacement,
health and psychosocial well-being, and cultural identity in the Americas. She has
worked extensively with Central American immigrant and refugee populations in the
U.S. and Canada. She is the author of In Search of Providence: Transnational
Mayan Identities (Vanderbilt University Press, 2007), an ethnographic account
of the transnational passages of K'iche' Indians straddled between the war-torn
Guatemalan highlands and the inner-city of Providence, Rhode Island.
For more information contact Debra Rodman at (804) 752-3127 or