GH Paper Assignment 2 Rigoberta Menchu 2009 by Z406HEKi

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									GLOBAL HISTORY                                          FALL 2009

                      Second Writing Assignment

Write a 4-5 page paper based on your reading of I, Rigoberta
Menchú. Your paper should be typed, double-spaced, with a staple
in the upper left-hand corner, and should cite the book and other
materials where relevant.

In reading I, Rigoberta Menchú and writing your paper, keep in
mind the following assessment by David Stoll in his book Rigoberta
Menchú and the story of All Poor Guatemalans:

      In Guatemalan intellectual life, she is a Mayan voice
      attempting to transcend the ladino-indigena dichotomy at the
      root of struggle over national identity. By pointing toward a
      more equitable relation between the two great ethnic groups
      in Guatemalan history, her book is a national epic. (p. 283)

Such was the response to Rigoberta Menchú’s account of Guatemalan
Indian life in the Cold War era that she was awarded a Nobel Peace
Prize. The award was not just for Rigoberta Menchú alone but in
recognition of her role as a spokesperson for indigenous peoples
everywhere.

I, Rigoberta Menchú can be read from the perspective of labor
migration. Within it you can find instances of the several kinds
of migration we have seen elsewhere: rural to urban, seasonal
(oscillating) movement of workers, flight to escape political
oppression. Keep these three elements in mind as you answer one of
the following questions:

(1)   Based on your reading of Rigoberta Menchú’s story about the
      plight of poor Guatemalans, give examples (with specific
      references to the text) of migration patterns and labor
      situations that impacted the narrator’s sense of identity and
      community membership. Analyze how factors such as ethnicity,
      race, gender, and class fostered or inhibited a sense of
      social solidarity and militancy on the part of poor
      Guatemalans.

(2)   Rigoberta Menchú tells the story of poor Guatemalans through
      the eyes of an Indian woman who comes of age in an
      environment of political, cultural, and economic upheaval.
      Based on what you know about Guatemala’s position as a
      dependent, peripheral economy in the midst of Cold War
      struggles what evidence can you find of systemic elements in
      the political and cultural systems exerting push and pull
      forces on labor migration? Be sure to cite specific passages
      in the text to support your argument.

                 (Due in Lecture Friday, November 13)

								
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