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Fellows Showcase: "Emotional Zapotec Epistemologies: The Relevance of Physical Space, Cosmic time, and Interconnectivity when Discussing Zapotec Emotional Injuries," with Candy Martínez

11:00 a.m. EDT

Register online via Zoom

June 8, 2021

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT


Join us for the second Fellows Showcase Lecture celebrating the work of the APS's 2020-2021 long-term fellows.

Candy Martínez, 2020-2021 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) Predoctoral Fellow, will share a lecture on  "Emotional Zapotec Epistemologies: The Relevance of Physical Space, Cosmic time, and Interconnectivity when Discussing Zapotec Emotional Injuries."

What do numbers and elements of nature have in common with emotions and emotional pains? To answer this question, this presentation considers how Zapotecs from both rural and urban communities in Oaxaca make meaning of emotional wounds in their indigenous language. How do Zapotecs define and explain emotional injuries such as profound sadness, susto, and/or trauma? What Zapotec words continue to hold relevance for Oaxacan communities to discuss severe emotional injury? Drawing from both interviews with Zapotec community members from the northern Sierra and Central Valley communities and American Philosophical Society archives (Morris Swadesh’ and Paul Radin’s papers), this presentation makes links between mental orientation, physical space, cosmic time, and interconnectivity with animal spirits and the heart.

The event will take place on Tuesday, June 8 at 11:00am EDT via Zoom. The event is free of charge, but registration is required to attend. 

Candy Martínez (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Latin American and Latina/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, currently titled “Rethinking Structural Inequalities and Emotional Illnesses in Oaxacan Communities” addresses the multi-layered interpretations of Zapotec and Mixtec communities’ own words, embodiments, and processes for discussing trauma, profound sadness, susto (fright), and healing processes as it relates to social, economic, and global changes.

Candy lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for a year and a half where she re-acquainted herself with her Zapotec roots and conducted field research including interviews and participant-observation of multiple healing rituals such as temazcal (steam-baths) and limpias (spiritual cleanses) throughout Oaxaca. She is excited to look through and examine two collections at the APS: Paul Radin papers and information from Morris Swadesh’ vocabularies.