Silvia Soto

Profile picture for Silvia Soto

Contact Information

1204 W. Nevada Street
American Indian Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

Wednesdays 1pm - 3pm
Visiting Assistant Professor

Biography

 

Silvia Soto is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in American Indian Studies. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of California, Davis in Native American Studies and her master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on the contemporary Mayan literary movement of Chiapas, Mexico, more specifically on concepts of identity formation, gender relations, and Mayan cosmovisions as articulated in the literature. Her book manuscript entitled, Unstoppable Clamor: The Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas, is currently under press review.

The book manuscript is an ethnography on the contemporary Mayan literary movement in Chiapas, Mexico. Her research on Mayan literatures is reflective in her publications and translation projects. She explores some of these topics on Mayan worldviews in her article “Rebuilding a Mayan World: Awakening, Presence, and Possibilities” (TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2017, 166-188); and in her forthcoming book chapter on “‘A World Where Many Worlds Fit:’ Zapatismo and the Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas” (Northwestern University Press), which focuses on the connection of the EZLN insurgency and Mayan knowledge systems. Additionally, her commitment on building bridges of understanding across language borders, engages with translation projects, including translating her dissertation to Spanish (University of California, Davis, 2015) and the Tsotsil-Spanish dictionary (Chano bats’ik k’op. Aprenda Tsotsil) to Tsotsil-English.   

 

Research Interests

 

Contemporary Indigenous literatures; Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous knowledge systems, Trans-Indigenous methodologies; Zapatismo; Critical Latinx Indigeneities; Decolonizing knowledges; Decolonial pedagogies 

 

Education

 

  • PhD Native American Studies, University of California, Davis 2015
  • MA Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico 2005  
  • BA Sociology
, University of California, Davis 1996
  • BA Spanish, University of California, DAvis 

 

Grants

  • 2018 CLACS Faculty Grant, "The Interminable Wound: Reading Rebellion in Contemporary Mayan Literature of Chiapas." Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Awards and Honors

  • 2015-2017 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Courses Taught

 

  • AIS 101: Introduction to American Indian Studies
  • AIS 265: Introduction to American Indian Literature
  • AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers

 

Highlighted Publications

 

Books:

Unstoppable Clamor: The Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas post 1994, book manuscript under review by the University of Arizona Press

Book chapters:

“‘A World Where Many Worlds Fit:’ Zapatismo and the Reconstruction of a Mayan World in Chiapas” forthcoming, Northwestern University Press

Journal articles:

Liberation Theology and the Resurgence of a Mayan Indigenous Consciousness,” under consideration by journal, RIASReview of International American Studies

“Rebuilding a Mayan World: Awakening, Presence, and Possibilities” in TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2017, 166-188

“Ojos Negros: Personal Essay” in As/Us: A Space for Women in the World, Issue 6, Volume 6, Spring 2016, 76-82

Book reviews:

Review of Chiapas Maya Awakening: Contemporary Poems and Short Stories, by Sean S. Sell and Nicolás Huet Bautista (eds.), in NAIS: Journal of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Vol 5.1, 2018

Review of Mayan Tales from Chiapas, Mexicoby Robert M. Laughlin, Journal of American Indian Higher Education,Feb 21, 2016, 27-30

Review of Auroras of the Zapatistas: Local & Global Struggles of the Fourth World War by Midnight Notes Collective, eds.,Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, Sp. 2005, vol. 29, no. 1, 227-229