Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 10:45

Assumption Professor Selected to Write for Prestigious Oxford University Press

Juan Carlos GrijalvaAssumption College Associate Professor of Spanish Juan Carlos Grijalva, Ph.D., has been invited by the world-renowned Oxford University Press to write for the publisher’s Bibliographies in Latin American Studies that, according to the Press, “provides faculty and students alike with a seamless pathway to the most accurate and reliable resources for a variety of academic topics.”

“Indigenous Voices in Literature” is the first bibliographical essay Prof. Grijalva was commissioned to write for Oxford University Press. It explores the heterogeneous literatures (sacred codices, historical accounts, legends, myths, oral memories, short stories, poetry, testimonies, novels, essays, etc.) produced by the Native Indigenous Peoples of Latin America since pre-Columbian times up to the present. Recognizing the value of Prof. Grijalva’s insight and depth of knowledge on this subject matter, Oxford University Press invited him to submit two more essays. The two essays will focus upon Indigenous Social and Political Though, and Indigenous Visual and Musical Arts. Read Oxford Bibliographies here.

“Developing the essay was challenging and ambitious not only because of its comprehensive historical scope, but in terms of the diversity of literary genres and Native Indigenous languages involved in this study,” said Prof. Grijalva. “This essay was an invitation to the reader to discover this not so well-known literary universe.”

According to the United Nations, in 2010 an estimated 45 million indigenous peoples lived in Latin America, representing more than 800 different ethnic groups, each of them with their own language, culture and identity. Because of this, Prof. Grijalva discounts the common, and very incorrect, belief that those who live in Latin America speak only Spanish and Portuguese. He added that something similar happens in the U.S., where there are more than 500 federally recognized tribes.

“This first essay was just the beginning of a more complex and vast project that had to involve the study of Latin American Indigenous’ political and sociological thought, as well as their filmmaking, artistic and musical production,” added Prof. Grijalva.

Prof. Grijalva is renowned in the academic community for his passion of Latin American Indigenous literatures and cultures. In 2015, he organized a three-day international conference on democracy and sumak kawsay (life of plenty) in Latin America, which took place in Otavalo, Ecuador, and had participants from ten countries, including Indigenous leaders and representatives. In spring 2016, he was invited to teach a graduate seminar on Indigenous representations at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Prof. Grijalva and Prof. Michael Handelsman recently released their co-edited book, De Atahuallpa a Cuauthémoc. Los Nacionalismos Culturales de Benjamin Carrión y José Vasconcelos, which explores cultural discourses on indigenous peoples.

His passion and specialized expertise has inspired Assumption students to learn and contribute on this same topic. Some have interviewed Indigenous activists and leaders, which have been co-published with Prof. Grijalva which can be read on

“I owe a great deal of my own enthusiasm to my Assumption students and I do know, for a fact, that we have reached hundreds of readers with our publications,” he shared.

According to Oxford University Press, Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies is a new and unique type of reference tool that has been specially created to meet a great need among today’s students, scholars, and researchers. It facilitates research in a way that other guides cannot by providing direct links to online library catalogs and other online resources. 

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews