Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj

Tinker Visiting Professor

Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj, Maya-K’iche’ journalist, activist, and a Brown University visiting professor from Guatemala. Dr. Nimatuj is an international spokeswoman for Indigenous communities in Central America and was the first Maya-K’iche’ woman to earn a doctorate in social anthropology in Guatemala. Dr. Velásquez Nimatuj was also instrumental in making racial discrimination illegal in Guatemala and is featured in 500 Years, a documentary about Indigenous resistance movements, for her role as an activist and expert witness in war crime trials. Dr. Nimatuj writes a weekly newspaper column for El Periódico de Guatemala and has served on UN Women as a representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. This fall, she joined the Watson Institute at Brown, where she teaches courses about Central and Latin American history and culture. She is part of a long line of struggle and resistence in her community since the Spanish invasion in 1524. She is the author of the books: La pequeña Burguesía Comercial de Guatemala: Desigualdades de clase, raza y género (2003), Pueblos indígenas, Estado y lucha por tierra en Guatemala: Estrategias de sobrevivencia y negociación ante la desigualdad globalizada (2008) y Lunas y Calendarios, colección poesía guatemalteca (2018)

Professor Velásquez Nimatuj has joined CLAS for the entire 2019-2020 academic year and the majority of the 2020-2021 academic year. She has taught LATINAM 266VP: A Critical Review of Guatemala's Indigenous Movements in Winter 2020. She will be teaching LATINAM268VP: Democracy, crisis and disease: Covid-19 and Indigenous People in Latin America  during the Autumn 2020 quarter and LATINAM 264VP: Indigenous Resistance & Contradictions in Latin America during the Winter 2021 quarter.