The United States became an influential global actor during the twentieth century, cementing its role on the world stage through decisive interventions in both World Wars and via a range of US cultural and technological innovations. So pervasive was the US presence that some scholars have since christened this era the “American Century.” In Catastrophic […]
From the Editors: From There to Here is a new series for Not Even Past in 2021. It builds off a past initiative but expands its focus to document the journeys taken by individual graduate students to Garrison hall and the University of Texas at Austin. In this powerful first article in the series, Ilan […]
The success of Not Even Past is made possible by a remarkable group of faculty and graduate student writers. Not Even Past Author Spotlights are designed to celebrate our most prolific authors by bringing together all of their published content across the site together on a single page. The focus is especially on work published by UT […]
The legend of La Llorona is ubiquitous in Latin America. The tale typically centers on a woman who, upon learning of her husband’s infidelity, drowns their son and daughter in a moment of madness. She soon realizes what she has done and drowns herself in a river. Despite her contrition, she is unable to enter […]
Standing in the outskirts of western Huehuetenango, Juan Gonzalez described to me the fields which surrounded his childhood home during the 1970s. “Our family used to raise a few cows in this area,” he said softly, “I used to tend to one named Membrio.” The bull’s hair was tan and tough on the outside, like […]
Medical professionals are often viewed as apolitical, but what happens when they come to challenge a government? On February 4th, 1976, a cataclysmic earthquake brought an embattled Guatemala to its knees. Amidst a raging civil war, the terremoto (earthquake) razed countless houses and killed roughly 21,000 people in just 39 seconds. Thousands more emerged from […]
On Monday, July 5, 2021, the high court in Tegucigalpa, Honduras convicted Roberto David Castillo, former head of the Desarrollos Energéticos dam company, for the murder of Berta Cáceres. The court ruled that Castillo coordinated, planned, and financed the assassination of Cáceres. Speaking in Honduras’ Río Blanco in 2013, Berta Cáceres rallied a sea of […]
If we understand Alvarez’s decision to tattoo as a direct response to the soldiers’ threats, his story elucidates the limits of state power. Where death squads in Guatemala repeatedly executed civilians and deprived their families of closure, Alvarez’s tattoo might have thwarted such efforts had he died. If the army killed him, or Felipe, or Alberto, their markings might have rendered them more recognizable to their families regardless of the military's brutality. Their mothers and fathers could then recite the Lord’s Prayer and give them a proper burial. In this sense, Alvarez’s tattoo embodies rebellion against the Guatemalan government’s authority to deprive families of the ability to grieve. His indelible ink, even in death, may have prevented the state from terrorizing his people and denying them this right.