[URBANTH-L]seeking AAA panel on transnational companies and/or colonialism

C Kray cakgss at rit.edu
Mon Feb 27 10:17:03 EST 2006

Dear colleagues:

I am hoping to find a AAA panel placement for this paper:

?Death by Rice, Water, and Sadness: The Doubly Displaced Body and the Transnational Company in Colonial Belize?

Power acts upon the body and in turn the body can serve as a repository of critical memory of the actions of transnational company and colony.  Yucatec Maya in Belize narrate their history as one of double displacement.  Refugees from the Yucatecan Caste War of the late 19th century, they settled in territory disputed among Mexico, Guatemala, and British Honduras.  While treaties with Spain specified that British settlement could center only upon extraction of hardwoods, colonial policies became co-extensive with the interests of the logging companies.  By law prohibited from land ownership, ?Indians? had to live on lands rented from ?the company,? the Belize Estate and Planter Company, which owned one-fifth of the land of modern-day Belize.  When slash-and-burn methods threatened mahogany stands in 1936, company and colonial agents forcibly evicted the people of San José and burned the village.  Evictees were removed to cramped army barracks where unknown numbers died, and then placed on a reservation in a malarial zone of sandy soils and brackish water.  Narratives of the eviction place a fragile body at the center, a body deprived of clothing and killed by foreign foods, swamp water, and grief.  The narrated vulnerable body is the site of transnational company and colonial action and it marks the boundary between morality and immorality, between subsistence farming and selfish exploitation of resources, and between colonized self and independent subject. 

Thank you very much for your consideration!


Dr. Christine A. Kray
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Rochester Institute of Technology
18 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604
(office) 585-475-4686

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