Cornell University

The Woman in the Window: A Tale of Mystery in Several Parts by Sylvia Sellers Garcia, LASP Seminar Series

Monday, September 25, 2017 at 12:15pm to 1:10pm

Uris Hall, 153 109 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853

The Woman in the Window is the contextualized history of a sensational crime that took place in Guatemala in 1800. It draws on a cluster of related topics: social violence; the history of medicine; gender and sexuality; and early modern policing. It also draws on several narrative traditions: though researched in the archive and anchored in traditional historiography, the story is narrated in the first person and incorporates elements of memoir, fiction, and “true crime” writing. This project offers the incredible opportunity to tell a gripping story about an obscure place, but it also confronts challenges that often haunt the border of literature and history: Are there any “truths” to be found in this story? In the telling of it, how much invention is allowable? And how much of the author’s own story belongs in the narrative?                   

Sylvia Sellers-García is an Associate Professor of History at Boston College. She holds an MPhil in Latin American Studies from St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and a PhD in History from UC Berkeley. Sellers-García’s publications include When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep (Riverhead, 2007), Distance and Documents at the Spanish Empire’s Periphery (Stanford, 2013), and, as a co-editor, Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Synoptic Methods and Practices (University of New Mexico Press, forthcoming in 2017). Her current research focuses on social violence in Guatemala in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Latino Studies Program, History, Romance Studies, Adelson Library, Latin American Studies Program (LASP), Academic Calendar, Global Cornell, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

William Phelan


Sylvia Sellers Garcia

Speaker Affiliation

Associate Professor of History, Boston College

Disability Access Information

Wheelchair Accessible (new ramp at building's front entrance)

Open To

Open to the public

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