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.