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FMU Spanish professor publishes first book

Francis Marion University assistant professor of Spanish Wendy Caldwell has published her first book, "Narrative Voices and the Liberation Movement in the Mexican State of Chiapas."

The book focuses on a series of "indigenista" novels of Chiapas, Mexico, published between 1957 and 1994 and examines their portrayal of particular social, political, and economic realities that continue to have a negative impact on contemporary Mexican society, specifically Chiapas. With the 1994 uprising led by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Chiapas has become a global symbol for the marginalized voices that struggle to gain a legitimate space in society.

The novels treated in the book outline the context that led to the EZLN's insurgency and, from this narrative sequence, a liberationist discourse emerges that reflects the ideas of Liberation Theology and its solidarity with the poor. The book does not set out to offer solutions to a most complex dilemma; rather, its purpose is to raise consciousness and critical reflection. It is presented within an interdisciplinary context and, therefore, lends itself to a variety of disciplines.

"Fiction often provides insights into pivotal political events that are not available through other sources," states FMU history professor John Britton in the preface of the book. "Professor Wendy Caldwell's study of recent Chiapanecan fiction is an excellent example. Her examination of this body of work is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the origins of one of the seminal events in contemporary Mexico."

Caldwell teaches Spanish and Latin American literature at FMU. She received the B.A. degree in Spanish and English from the College of Charleston, the M.A. degree in Spanish from the University of South Carolina, and the Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages from the University of Georgia. She has traveled to Chiapas, and participated in the 2002 Maya Worlds Summer Seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The book is published by The Edwin Mellen Press. More information about the book can be found at

#17 / 8-23-04

Last Published: August 25, 2004 7:35 AM
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