Professor Alison Crosby co-authors book on Mayan women’s struggle for justice

In a new book that explores a group of Mayan women’s collective struggle for justice, York University Professor Alison Crosby and Boston College Professor M. Brinton Lykes examine how these women’s protagonisms have been formed after suffering genocidal violence in Guatemala during the early 1980s.

The book Beyond Repair?: Mayan Women’s Protagonism in the Aftermath of Genocidal Harm (Rutgers University Press) draws on eight years of feminist participatory action research (PAR) and examines how Mayan women’s protagonism has been shaped through dialogic interactions with intermediaries, including Mayan, ladina, mestiza and transnational activists, feminists, lawyers, psychologists, interpreters and the authors as researchers.

Crosby and Lykes trace how intermediaries accompanied Mayan protagonists in the performance of a “community of women” outside of their local geographic communities, as a space from which to enact actions for redress and engage in knowledge co-construction.

In analyzing protagonists’ engagement with a Tribunal of Conscience, a paradigmatic legal case of sexual violence as a crime against humanity and a state-sponsored National Reparations Program – actions framed as “transitional justice” – as well as the authors’ PAR process, the book addresses a central tension between Indigenous struggles to redress social suffering rooted in structural colonial violence and dispossession, and the tendency of Western rights-based regimes to individuate acts of harm and generate racialized, gendered spectacles of pain and suffering, accentuated in cases of sexual harm.

Crosby and Lykes consider the challenges and possibilities of decolonial feminist research praxis within such terrain.

A book launch hosted by York University’s Centre for Feminist Research will take place on Friday, May 10 from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. in 305 Founders College, Keele Campus. The event will feature the authors as well as discussant Carlota McAllister (York University) and Chair Viviana Patroni (York University).

The event is open to all. Founders College is wheelchair accessible and accessible to all. There is a gender-neutral bathroom on first floor and a single-stall, accessible bathroom on the third floor. Wayfinding signs will be posted.

RSVP to For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Co-sponsors of the event include: CERLAC, the School of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School and Founders College.

The event is organized in conjunction with the 2019 Canadian Association of Latin American & the Caribbean Studies (CALACS) Annual Conference.