Edgar Garcia, "Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in a Time of Crisis" (U Chicago Press, 2022)


Today’s guest is Edgar Garcia. Garcia’s new book Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in a Time of Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2022). Emergency takes nine words—“birds,” “wealth,” “caves,” “television,” “demons,” “migrations,” “love,” “the sun,” and “Mormons”—and weaves a rich transhistorical narrative about the Popul Vuh sacred narrative. In these pages, Garcia explores how this text emerged in conditions of historical violence and persisted through over three hundred years, becoming a touchstone for Mesoamerican religious studies, decolonial activism, and literary adaptation.

Edgar Garcia is Professor of English at the University of Chicago. His previous books are Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu (University of Chicago Press, 2020) and Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography (Fence Books, 2019). He has also served as the guest editor of Fence, a literary magazine. Written during the COVID pandemic, Emergency was published in 2022.

John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Boston College. He earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. In 2023, his dissertation won the J. Leeds Barroll Prize, given by the Shakespeare Association of America. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies.

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John Yargo

John Yargo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His specializations are early modern literature, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies. His dissertation explores early modern representations of environmental catastrophe, including William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. He has published in Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, and Shakespeare Studies.

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