The Mestizo State: Reading Race in Modern Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Mexico, Monographs on 2013-06-25 18:09Z by Steven

The Mestizo State: Reading Race in Modern Mexico

University of Minnesota Press
June 2012
248 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8166-5637-0
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8166-5636-3

Joshua Lund, Associate Professor of Spanish
University of Pittsburgh

The Mestizo State examines how the ideas, images, and public discourse around race, nation, and citizen formation have been transformed in Mexico from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Starting with the Porfiriato, Joshua Lund investigates the rise of a racialized “mestizo state,” its reinvention after the Mexican Revolution, and its mobilization as a critical lever that would act both on behalf of and against mainstream Mexican political culture during the long hegemony of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional.

Lund takes race as his object of critical reflection in the context of modern Mexico. An analysis that does not confuse race with mestizaje, indigeneity, African identity, or whiteness, the book sheds light on the history of the materialism of race as it unfolds within the cultural production of modern Mexico, grounded on close readings of four writers whose work explicitly challenged the politics of race in Mexico: Luis Alva, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Rosario Castellanos, and Elena Garro.

In seeking to address race as a cultural-political problematic, Lund considers race as integral to the production of the materiality of Mexican national history: constitutive of the nation form, a mediator of capitalist accumulation, and a central actor in the rise of modernity.


  • Introduction: The Mestizo State
  • 1. Colonization and Indianization in Liberal Mexico: The Case of Luis Alva
  • 2. Altamirano’s Burden
  • 3. Misplaced Revolution: Rosario Castellanos and the Race War
  • 4. Elena Garro and the Failure of Alliance
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Inner Life of Mestizo Nationalism

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation on 2011-12-03 02:17Z by Steven

The Inner Life of Mestizo Nationalism

University of Minnesota Press
272 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8166-5005-7
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8166-5004-0

Estelle Tarica, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture
University of California, Berkeley

The only recent English-language work on Spanish-American indigenismo from a literary perspective, Estelle Tarica’s work shows how modern Mexican and Andean discourses about the relationship between Indians and non-Indians create a unique literary aesthetic that is instrumental in defining the experience of mestizo nationalism.

Engaging with narratives by Jesús Lara, José María Arguedas, and Rosario Castellanos, among other thinkers, Tarica explores the rhetorical and ideological aspects of interethnic affinity and connection. In her examination, she demonstrates that these connections posed a challenge to existing racial hierarchies in Spanish America by celebrating a new kind of national self at the same time that they contributed to new forms of subjection and discrimination.

Going beyond debates about the relative merits of indigenismo and mestizaje, Tarica puts forward a new perspective on indigenista literature and modern mestizo identities by revealing how these ideologies are symptomatic of the dilemmas of national subject formation. The Inner Life of Mestizo Nationalism offers insight into the contemporary resurgence and importance of indigenista discourses in Latin America.

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