Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj
Journalist, Activist, Guatemala
Academic Year: 2019-2020
Term/Semester: Fall 2019
Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj, Maya-K’iche’ journalist, activist, and a Brown University visiting professor from Guatemala. Dr. Nimatuj is an international spokeswoman for indigenous communities in Central America and was the first Maya-K’iche’ woman to earn a doctorate in social anthropology in Guatemala. Dr. Velásquez Nimatuj was also instrumental in making racial discrimination illegal in Guatemala and is featured in 500 Years, a documentary about indigenous resistance movements, for her role as an activist and expert witness in war crime trials. Dr. Nimatuj writes a weekly newspaper column for El Periódico de Guatemala and has served on UN Women as a representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. This fall, she joined the Watson Institute at Brown, where she teaches courses about Central and Latin American history and culture. She is part of a long line of struggle and resistence in her community since the Spanish invasion in 1524. She is the author of the books: La pequeña Burguesía Comercial de Guatemala: Desigualdades de clase, raza y género (2003), Pueblos indígenas, Estado y lucha por tierra en Guatemala: Estrategias de sobrevivencia y negociación ante la desigualdad globalizada (2008) y Lunas y Calendarios, colección poesía guatemalteca (2018).
She will be teaching the course LATINAM 264VP: Indigenous Resistance & Contradictions in Latin America during the Fall 2019 quarter.