Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The conversations and meetings that have made this book possible began to be formalized at the end of 2013 thanks to a Mellon–Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Seminars grant, which allowed us to fund three meetings in the course of 2014—the first at Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas at Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav) in January, ...

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Introduction: Why Beyond Alterity? / Paula López Caballero with Ariadna Acevedo-Rodrigo

Paula López Caballer, Ariadna Acevedo-Rodrigo

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pp. 3-28

This book questions the way identification as indigenous has become tacitly, and almost automatically, associated with alterity. Coming from different disciplines with a range of methodologies and engaging with diverse topics, the contributors all share a common concern. Without denying the potential interest generated by studies that emphasize the difference and singularity of people (self-) identified as indigenous, ...

Part I. Land and Government

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1. The Practices of Communal Landholding: Indian Pueblo Property Relations in Colonial Mexico

Emilio Kourí

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pp. 31-60

Corporate landholding in colonial Mexican villages (repúblicas de indios) has long been defined ex ante as possessing a series of characteristics presumably inherent to indigenous culture: communalism, cohesion, and a spirit of egalitarian solidarity. Communal property holding thus understood has commonly been regarded as the supreme institutional expression of indigenous cultural identity and practice, ...

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2. Connected Communities: Villagers and Wider Social Systems in the Late Colonial and Early National Periods

Peter Guardino

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pp. 61-83

A few years ago I came across a book in our university library called The Forgotten Village. The book combines over one hundred photographs of life in a Mexican village around 1940 with a story by John Steinbeck (1941). As exciting as this discovery was, I was even more pleased when I realized that the photographs were actually movie stills, and after a little sleuthing ...

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3. Indigenous Communities, Political Transformations, and Mexico’s War of Independence in the Gulf Coast Region

Michael T. Ducey

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pp. 84-106

One of the challenges in understanding the role of indigenous actors in Mexican history is the tendency to characterize them as being stubbornly attached to tradition while at the same time serving as a fount of revolutionary potential. Historians of Mexico’s nineteenth century have frequently commented on this dualistic nature of indigenous political action, ...

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4. Happy Together? “Indians,” Liberalism, and Schools in the Oaxaca and Puebla Sierras, 1876–1911

Ariadna Acevedo-Rodrigo

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pp. 107-129

This chapter is about public elementary schools from 1876 to 1911 in two regions that have been considered rural and indigenous: the northern sierras of Oaxaca and Puebla. It is often implied that these schools must have been practically nonexistent or very ineffective given that the 1910 national literacy rate barely reached 20 percent, and it was often lower in rural areas with a significant number of speakers of indigenous languages. ...

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5. Todos tenemos la crisma de dios: Engaging Spanish Literacy in a Tlaxcalan Pueblo

Elsie Rockwell

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pp. 130-150

Official discourse, as much as academic discourse, still tends to define populations considered indigenous in any nation as primarily rural, agrarian, isolated, and traditional. In this context, the dichotomy between purportedly “oral” and “literate” cultures continues to be reproduced with contrary signs: at times the oral is seen as a dearth, the lack of written culture, ...

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6. Communal and Indigenous Landholding in Contemporary Yucatan: Tracing the Changing Property Relations in the Postrevolutionary Ejido

Gabriela Torres-Mazuera

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pp. 151-170

Communal property regimes are frequently associated with indigenous groups in contemporary Mexico and have been perceived as being their dominant form of land tenure throughout the four centuries of national history. Unsurprisingly, it is rarely highlighted how property relations have altered over time within a changing legal framework that recognizes ...

Part II. Science

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7. From Anatomical Collection to National Museum, circa 1895: How Skulls and Female Pelvises Began to Speak the Language of Mexican National History

Laura Cházaro

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pp. 173-198

The Museum of Pathological Anatomy opened in 1853 as part of the National School of Medicine (Escuela Nacional de Medicina, hereafter ENM). At the museum, professors from the Department of Obstetrics who practiced at Mexico’s charity hospitals collected female pelvic bones that had been diagnosed pathological. The pieces labeled “Mexican” or “jammed” pelvises originally belonged to patients ...

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8. Anthropological Debates Around the Indigenous Subject and Alterity, 1940–1948

Paula López Caballero

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pp. 199-221

In 1948 the Instituto Nacional Indigenista (INI, National Indigenist Institute) was launched in Mexico almost a decade after the creation, also in Mexico, of the Instituto Indigenista Interamericano (III, Inter-American Indigenist Institute), which resulted from the agreements made at the first Congreso Indigenista Interamericano (Inter-American Indigenist Congress) ...

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9. Displacement, Development, and the Creation of a Modern Indígena in the Papaloapan, 1940s–1970s

Diana Lynn Schwartz

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pp. 222-243

From 1953 to 1963, residents of the Papaloapan Basin moved household by household to new lands. Thousands were rescued by boat as their homes slowly flooded, dragging with them the transportable stuff of their daily lives—chickens, rustic furniture, elaborately embroidered huipiles—through the silted waters. ...

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10. Encapsulated History: Evon Vogt and the Anthropological Making of the Maya

José Luis Escalona ­Victoria

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pp. 244-262

Anthropology has played a fundamental role in the production of indigenous alterity—that is, of the indigenous as a popular social category that has strongly influenced the contemporary history of several groups, territories, and goods. In Mexico, this alterity-making process was influenced partly by interactions between Mexican and foreign anthropologists, thereby involving metropolitan institutions in Europe and the United States. ...

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11. In Sickness and in Myth: Genetic Avatars of Indigenous Alterity and the Mexican Nation

Vivette García ­Deister

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pp. 263-283

In many current investigations about genomics, DNA is conceptualized as a text authored by natural selection, one through which we read about our history and tell stories about our past, present, and future. In order to facilitate research that may shed light on the demographic history of humans and their evolutionary patterns of diversification, researchers collect biological samples (DNA) from diverse populations around the world. ...

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Epilogue. Beyond Alterity, Beyond Occidentalism: “Indigenous Other” and “Western Self ” in Mexico

Paul K. Eiss

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pp. 284-296

There may be no better way to begin a reflection on the place of the “indigenous other” in Mexico than with a reading of Guillermo Bonfil Batalla’s ([1987] 1996) classic study, México profundo.1 México profundo unfolds as an epic tale of a five-hundred-year confrontation between two civilizations: a popular culture rooted in “Mesoamerican ways of life” (xv), which he terms “México profundo,” and another imposed from above by advocates ...

Contributors

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pp. 297-300

Index

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pp. 301-312