Indigenous Interfaces

Spaces, Technology, and Social Networks in Mexico and Central America

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Cultural preservation, linguistic revitalization, intellectual heritage, and environmental sustainability became central to Indigenous movements in Mexico and Central America after 1992. While the emergence of these issues triggered important conversations, none to date have examined the role that new media has played in accomplishing their objectives.

Indigenous Interfaces provides the first thorough examination of indigeneity at the interface of cyberspace. Correspondingly, it examines the impact of new media on the struggles for self-determination that Indigenous peoples undergo in Mexico and Central America. The volume’s contributors highlight the fresh approaches that Mesoamerica’s Indigenous peoples have given to new media—from YouTubing Maya rock music to hashtagging in Zapotec. Together, they argue that these cyberspatial activities both maintain tradition and ensure its continuity. Without considering the implications of new technologies, Indigenous Interfaces argues, twenty-first-century indigeneity in Mexico and Central America cannot be successfully documented, evaluated, and comprehended.

Indigenous Interfaces rejects the myth that indigeneity and information technology are incompatible through its compelling analysis of the relationships between Indigenous peoples and new media. The volume illustrates how Indigenous peoples are selectively and strategically choosing to interface with cybertechnology, highlights Indigenous interpretations of new media, and brings to center Indigenous communities who are resetting modes of communication and redirecting the flow of information. It convincingly argues that interfacing with traditional technologies simultaneously with new media gives Indigenous peoples an edge on the claim to autonomous and sovereign ways of being Indigenous in the twenty-first century.

Arturo Arias
Debra A. Castillo
Gloria Elizabeth Chacón
Adam W. Coon
Emiliana Cruz
Tajëëw Díaz Robles
Mauricio Espinoza
Alicia Ivonne Estrada
Jennifer Gómez Menjívar
Sue P. Haglund
Brook Danielle Lillehaugen
Paul Joseph López Oro
Rita M. Palacios
Gabriela Spears-Rico
Paul Worley
"The articles in this book engender, sustain, and add a new and first-person Indigenous perspective to an all-too-often entrenched Western discourse in media,
technology, and communications".—Hondo Baldwin Louis, Tribal College Journal

“This volume’s spectacular breadth and depth of scholarship from many disciplines, as well as a diverse representation of Indigenous peoples and technologies, make it a much-needed contribution to the growing field of Indigenous technologies and futurisms.”—Kelly S. McDonough, University of Texas at Austin

“This is an excellent and timely book, well-written and conceived, clear, and meaningful. Each contributor brings new research to the discussion while engaging with applicable scholars and critics.” —Elizabeth C. Martinez, DePaul University

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