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Constructing the Criollo Archive

by Antony Higgins

Publication Year: 2000

This book constitutes an attempt to theorize the process of the emergence, in eighteenth-century New Spain, of a position of intellectual subjectivity differentiated from that established by the regime of Spanish imperial authority. The principal concern has been to trace how certain groups of criollo intellectuals try to construct such discourses, paradoxically, out of the framework of available European systems of knowledge and representation. In this fashion, it was sought to discern the outline of an ideological program for criollo political and cultural hegemony in the eighteenth century

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ix-xvi

The central project of this book is to carry out an investigation into the emergence of theoretical discourses of criollo subjectivity in the viceroyalty of New Spain and the kingdom of Guatemala during the eighteenth century. I track this process in terms of two interrelated problematics. ...


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p. xvii

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pp. 1-20

One of the key issues raised by contemporary criticism and theory has concerned the philosophical category of the subject. This line of investigation has focused upon the figure that grounds the epistemology and value system of modernity, as it has been articulated in Western Europe...

Part 1: Juan José de Eguiara y Eguren and the Bibliotheca Mexicana

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1. Framing the Criollo Archive

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pp. 23-44

The Bibliotheca Mexicana is the first attempt to organize systematically a heterogeneous range of authors and texts into the form of a Mexican intellectual tradition. It is both product and agent of the process through which a sense of shared identity and interests comes to be envisaged in New Spain. ...

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2. Supplementary Authority: The Prologues to the Bibliotheca Mexicana

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pp. 45-85

While the Aprilis Dialogus establishes Mexico as a utopian site for the production of knowledge, erudition, and texts, the Bibliotheca itself involves an unending quest to produce and uncover texts, and to accumulate them in a location perceived by the European intellectual subject as pure materiality...

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3. The Fragmentary Archive: The Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Mexicana

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pp. 86-105

The Aprilis Dialogus and other prologues to the Bibliotheca Mexicana serve to ground the position of the criollo subject, and its knowledge. In both their formal organization and their thematics, they mobilize the contradictions that structure the thought of that subject. ...

Part 2: Rafael Landívar's Rusticatio Mexicana: Expnding the Criollo Archive

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4. Subject, Archive, Landscape

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pp. 109-166

Eguiara y Eguren’s Bibliotheca Mexicana constitutes a limit-point in the hegemony of the episteme and practices of scholasticism in New Spain. At the time of the Bibliotheca’s publication, the structure out of which Eguiara worked was beginning to show cracks, and was giving way...

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5. After the Sublime: The Rationalization of Colonial Space

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pp. 167-210

In the Rusticatio Mexicana the sublime serves as a medium for thinking through the problem of mapping that which is not easily grasped and incorporated into Western semiosis. At the same time, it stages a drama through which the position of a criollo subject of literary discourse and knowledge is stabilized. ...

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6. Framing American Heterogeneity

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pp. 211-232

In the final four books of the Rusticatio Mexicana, and in an appendix,1 Landívar shifts his focus away from the depiction of a diversified and rationalized economy founded on the calculated exploitation of American materiality. The subject installed through the dynamic of the natural sublime...

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pp. 233-239

This book constitutes an attempt to theorize the process of the emergence, in eighteenth-century New Spain and Guatemala, of a position of intellectual subjectivity differentiated from that established by the regime of Spanish imperial authority. My principal concern has been to trace...


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pp. 241-262


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pp. 263-275


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pp. 277-283

E-ISBN-13: 9781612491080
E-ISBN-10: 1612491081
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557531988
Print-ISBN-10: 1557531986

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2000

Series Title: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures
Series Editor Byline: Patricia Hart See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 606549034
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Constructing the Criollo Archive

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Creoles -- Mexico -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
  • Mexico -- History -- Spanish colony, 1540-1810.
  • Landívar, Rafael, 1731-1793. Rusticatio mexicana.
  • Subjectivity.
  • Eguiara y Eguren, Juan José de, 1696-1763. Biblioteca mexicana.
  • Creoles -- Mexico -- Politics and government -- 18th century.
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