Juan Carlos Mazariegos

Juan Carlos Mazariegos

Research Interests

Research Concentrations

Social Imaginaries and Semiotics, Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory, Photography and Media Theory, Archival and Ethnographic Methodologies, Secrecy and Anonymity, Violence and Sovereignty, Race and Capitalism 


Latin America, Central America; Guatemala


Juan Carlos Mazariegos’ research focuses on contemporary social imaginaries of violent pasts in post-genocide Guatemala, expanding to visual, auditory, and affective cultures in the aftermath of violent events in Latin America. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled A War of Proper Names: The Politics of naming, Indigenous Insurrection, and Genocidal Violence During Guatemala’s Civil War, that examines the relationship between genocidal violence, the symbolic and imaginary constitution of the Guatemalan finca-state (plantation-state), and the politics of naming and anonymity among indigenous communities of Mayan-Ixil descent. He is also working on a second research project that focuses on photographic imaginaries, evidentiary aesthetics, and the memories of revolution after the end of the civil war. He is particularly interested on how the ghostly returns of the war’s photographic record–in the form of archival and forensic photographs, and of photographies of those who were forcibly disappeared–both intersect and displace realists imaginaries about Guatemala’s violent past and the memories of revolution. Juan Carlos Mazariegos works in the intersection between ethnographic and archival methodologies, and between anthropological, historical, and media theories. He worked as a social researcher in Guatemala for over a decade, and collaborates with indigenous organizations and ancestral authorities in their struggles for justice, and the defense of their lands and territories.        


Columbia University in the City of New York, PhD in Anthropology, 2020

Columbia University in the City of New York, MA in Anthropology, 2012

Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, BA in Sociology, 2007

Courses Taught