UND Languages Department sponsoring a book launch for Paul Worley on Feb.27


Kortnie Evanson

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


The University of North Dakota Languages Department is sponsoring a book launch celebrating Paul Worley's recently published work, Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Yucatec Maya Literatures, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at the North Dakota Museum of Art.

Worley is an assistant professor of languages at UND.

The event will include a reading and discussion as well as a reception with complimentary refreshments.

Through performance and the spoken word, Yucatec Maya storytellers have maintained the vitality of their literary traditions for more than five hundred years. Telling and Being Told presents the figure of the storyteller as a symbol of indigenous cultural control in contemporary Yucatec Maya literatures.

Analyzing the storyteller as the embodiment of indigenous knowledge in written and oral texts, this book highlights how Yucatec Maya literatures play a vital role in imaginings of Maya culture and its relationships with Mexican and global cultures.

Paul Worley, in his own words:

After completing my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, I was hired as an assistant professor of Spanish by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of North Dakota in Fall 2009.

Published fall 2013 by the University of Arizona Press, my book Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Mexican and Yukatek Maya Literaturesexamines representations of Maya storytellers and storytelling in Yucatec Maya literatures. More broadly, my academic specialization is in contemporary Latin American literatures and cultures, with my research interests being indigenous rights movements in Latin America, Postcolonial Theory, Subaltern Studies, and Digital Humanities.

I have several ongoing projects, not the least of which is a trilingual oral history project that I have designed with the Yukatek Maya storyteller Mariano Bonilla Caamal, Tsikbal ich Maya (Speaking Maya). My recently published articles have appeared in The Latin Americanist, Romance Notes, and A contracorriente. I am current working on an article on the poetry of Waldemar Noh Tzec.