Meet CAHS' New Associate Dean

Dr. David Carey Jr. is a Professor of History and Women & Gender Studies, and was recently named Associate Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHS).  His research focuses on indigenous populations in Latin America, specifically those who live in Guatemala.  His early research focused used oral histories to get a sense of how Mayas reconstruct their past compared to U.S. and European historians, followed by the more assertive approach of how gender reflected the content and conceptualization of their oral histories.  One of the main reasons his research is so rich, provocative, and unique – he speaks Kaqchikel, a Maya language spoken by the people living in the Central Highlands of Guatemala.  Through those oral histories, he explores the deep relationship between political power, gender, ethnicity, alcohol and crime among the people and how it serves a purpose in their society.  He has spent nearly twenty years doing research among the people, documenting the oral histories in their native language; community leaders first directed him to male elders, though David later pursued women’s oral histories which added another layer to their historiography and increased our comprehension of their indigenous past, including what was important to them that is not evident in Guatemalan national history.  Last year, he edited Distilling the Influence of Alcohol: Aguardiente in Guatemalan History which exposes the flourishing underground economy that surrounded bootlegging and how significant it was for the national government.  His next book (I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898-1944) coming out this fall, focuses on crime – a look at the court system trying to manage the market economy and how the judicial system was central to the people’s honor and reputation.