Modern Visual Culture and National Identity
Author: John Mraz
Publisher: Duke University Press
In Looking for Mexico, a leading historian of visual culture, John Mraz, provides a panoramic view of Mexico’s modern visual culture from the U.S. invasion of 1847 to the present. Along the way, he illuminates the powerful role of photographs, films, illustrated magazines, and image-filled history books in the construction of national identity, showing how Mexicans have both made themselves and been made with the webs of significance spun by modern media. Central to Mraz’s book is photography, which was distributed widely throughout Mexico in the form of cartes-de-visite, postcards, and illustrated magazines. Mraz analyzes the work of a broad range of photographers, including Guillermo Kahlo, Winfield Scott, Hugo Brehme, Agustín Víctor Casasola, Tina Modotti, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Héctor García, Pedro Meyer, and the New Photojournalists. He also examines representations of Mexico’s past in the country’s influential picture histories: popular, large-format, multivolume series replete with thousands of photographs and an assortment of texts. Turning to film, Mraz compares portrayals of the Mexican Revolution by Fernando de Fuentes to the later movies of Emilio Fernández and Gabriel Figueroa. He considers major stars of Golden Age cinema as gender archetypes for mexicanidad, juxtaposing the charros (hacienda cowboys) embodied by Pedro Infante, Pedro Armendáriz, and Jorge Negrete with the effacing women: the mother, Indian, and shrew as played by Sara García, Dolores del Río, and María Félix. Mraz also analyzes the leading comedians of the Mexican screen, representations of the 1968 student revolt, and depictions of Frida Kahlo in films made by Paul Leduc and Julie Taymor. Filled with more than fifty illustrations, Looking for Mexico is an exuberant plunge into Mexico’s national identity, its visual culture, and the connections between the two.
Author: John Mraz
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic
Author: Ana Paula Ambrosi,Silvia D. Zárate,Alex M. Saragoza
Category: Social Science
Providing over 200 entries on politics, government, economics, society, culture, and much more, this two-volume work brings modern Mexico to life. • Comprises information from approximately 100 contributors • Provides a timeline of events of modern Mexico from 1968 to the present day • Includes about 50 photographs that illustrate many aspects of contemporary Mexico • Provides a helpful bibliography and subject index
A Cultural Biography
Author: Andrew Grant Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Few Mexican musicians in the twentieth century achieved as much notoriety or had such an international impact as the popular singer and songwriter Agust?n Lara (1897-1970). Widely known as "el flaco de oro" ("the Golden Skinny"), this remarkably thin fellow was prolific across the genres of bolero, ballad, and folk. His most beloved "Granada", a song so enduring that it has been covered by the likes of Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, and Placido Domingo, is today a standard in the vocal repertory. However, there exists very little biographical literature on Lara in English. In Agust?n Lara: A Cultural Biography, author Andrew Wood's informed and informative placement of Lara's work in a broader cultural context presents a rich and comprehensive reading of the life of this significant musical figure. Lara's career as a media celebrity as well as musician provides an excellent window on Mexican society in the mid-twentieth century and on popular culture in Latin America. Wood also delves into Lara's music itself, bringing to light how the composer's work unites a number of important currents in Latin music of his day, particularly the bolero. With close musicological focus and in-depth cultural analysis riding alongside the biographical narrative, Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography is a welcome read to aficionados and performers of Latin American musics, as well as a valuable addition to the study of modern Mexican music and Latin American popular culture as a whole.
Politics, Work, and Culture in Mexico, 1938–1968
Author: Paul Gillingham,Benjamin T. Smith
Publisher: Duke University Press
In 1910 Mexicans rebelled against an imperfect dictatorship; after 1940 they ended up with what some called the perfect dictatorship. A single party ruled Mexico for over seventy years, holding elections and talking about revolution while overseeing one of the world's most inequitable economies. The contributors to this groundbreaking collection revise earlier interpretations, arguing that state power was not based exclusively on hegemony, corporatism, or violence. Force was real, but it was also exercised by the ruled. It went hand-in-hand with consent, produced by resource regulation, political pragmatism, local autonomies and a popular veto. The result was a dictablanda: a soft authoritarian regime. This deliberately heterodox volume brings together social historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists to offer a radical new understanding of the emergence and persistence of the modern Mexican state. It also proposes bold, multidisciplinary approaches to critical problems in contemporary politics. With its blend of contested elections, authoritarianism, and resistance, Mexico foreshadowed the hybrid regimes that have spread across much of the globe. Dictablanda suggests how they may endure. Contributors. Roberto Blancarte, Christopher R. Boyer, Guillermo de la Peña, María Teresa Fernández Aceves, Paul Gillingham, Rogelio Hernández Rodríguez, Alan Knight, Gladys McCormick, Tanalís Padilla, Wil G. Pansters, Andrew Paxman, Jaime Pensado, Pablo Piccato, Thomas Rath, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Benjamin T. Smith, Michael Snodgrass
A History of Photography in Mexico
Author: Olivier Debroise
Publisher: University of Texas Press
"Now this publication is available in English as Mexican Suite. Olivier Debroise and Stella de Sa Rego have revised this edition to include more current material and explanatory notes for an audience less familiar with Mexican history. They have also eliminated some of the general history of photography and added more of the early history of photography in Mexico, as well as many new, previously unpublished images. The book is organized both chronologically and thematically, which allows viewer/readers to follow the evolution of major photographic genres and styles. Debroise also examines the role of photography in the development of modern Mexico and the influence of prominent foreign photographers such as Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Author: Costanza Caraffa,Tiziana Serena
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
The question of the (photographic) construction and representation of national identity is not limited to the ‘long 19th century’, but is a current issue in the post-colonial, post-global, digital world. The essays by international contributors aim at studying the relationship between photographic archives and the idea of nation, yet without focusing on single symbolic icons and instead considering the wider archival and sedimental dimension.
Stories from the Newsroom, Stories from the Street
Author: Benjamin T. Smith
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Mexico today is one of the most dangerous places in the world to report the news, and Mexicans have taken to the street to defend freedom of expression. As Benjamin T. Smith demonstrates in this history of the press and civil society, the cycle of violent repression and protest over journalism is nothing new. He traces it back to the growth in newspaper production and reading publics between 1940 and 1976, when a national thirst for tabloids, crime sheets, and magazines reached far beyond the middle class. As Mexicans began to view local and national events through the prism of journalism, everyday politics changed radically. Even while lauding the liberty of the press, the state developed an arsenal of methods to control what was printed, including sophisticated spin and misdirection techniques, covert financial payments, and campaigns of threats, imprisonment, beatings, and even murder. The press was also pressured by media monopolists tacking between government demands and public expectations to maximize profits, and by coalitions of ordinary citizens demanding that local newspapers publicize stories of corruption, incompetence, and state violence. Since the Cold War, both in Mexico City and in the provinces, a robust radical journalism has posed challenges to government forces.
Author: Niamh Thornton
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Performing Arts
Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Film examines Mexican films of political conflict from the early studio Revolutionary films of the 1930-50s up to the campaigning Zapatista films of the 2000s. Mapping this evolution out for the first time, the author takes three key events under consideration: the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920); the student movement and massacre in 1968; and, finally, the more recent Zapatista Rebellion (1994-present). Analyzing films such as Vamanos con Pancho Villa (1936), El Grito (1968), and Corazon del Tiempo (2008), the author uses the term 'political conflict' to refer to those violent disturbances, dramatic periods of confrontation, injury and death, which characterize particular historical events involving state and non-state actors that may have a finite duration, but have a long-lasting legacy on the nation. These conflicts have been an important component of Mexican film since its inception and include studio productions, documentaries, and independent films.
Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture During the Long Sixties
Author: Jaime M. Pensado
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Winner of the 2014 Mexican Book Prize In the middle of the twentieth century, a growing tide of student activism in Mexico reached a level that could not be ignored, culminating with the 1968 movement. This book traces the rise, growth, and consequences of Mexico's "student problem" during the long sixties (1956-1971). Historian Jaime M. Pensado closely analyzes student politics and youth culture during this period, as well as reactions to them on the part of competing actors. Examining student unrest and youthful militancy in the forms of sponsored student thuggery (porrismo), provocation, clientelism (charrismo estudiantil), and fun (relajo), Pensado offers insight into larger issues of state formation and resistance. He draws particular attention to the shifting notions of youth in Cold War Mexico and details the impact of the Cuban Revolution in Mexico's universities. In doing so, Pensado demonstrates the ways in which deviating authorities—inside and outside the government—responded differently to student unrest, and provides a compelling explanation for the longevity of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional.
Artists and Labor in Revolutionary Mexico, 1908–1940
Author: John Lear
Publisher: University of Texas Press
In the wake of Mexico’s revolution, artists played a fundamental role in constructing a national identity centered on working people and were hailed for their contributions to modern art. Picturing the Proletariat examines three aspects of this artistic legacy: the parallel paths of organized labor and artists’ collectives, the relations among these groups and the state, and visual narratives of the worker. Showcasing forgotten works and neglected media, John Lear explores how artists and labor unions participated in a cycle of revolutionary transformation from 1908 through the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas (1934–1940). Lear shows how middle-class artists, radicalized by the revolution and the Communist Party, fortified the legacy of the prerevolutionary print artisan José Guadalupe Posada by incorporating modernist, avant-garde, and nationalist elements in ways that supported and challenged unions and the state. By 1940, the state undermined the autonomy of radical artists and unions, while preserving the image of both as partners of the “institutionalized revolution.” This interdisciplinary book explores the gendered representations of workers; the interplay of prints, photographs, and murals in journals, in posters, and on walls; the role of labor leaders; and the discursive impact of the Spanish Civil War. It considers “los tres grandes”—Rivera, Siquieros, and Orozco—while featuring lesser-known artists and their collectives, including Saturnino Herrán, Leopoldo Méndez, Santos Balmori, and the League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists (LEAR). The result is a new perspective on the art and politics of the revolution.
Commitments, Testimonies, Icons
Author: John Mraz
Publisher: University of Texas Press
The Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 is among the world’s most visually documented revolutions. Coinciding with the birth of filmmaking and the increased mobility offered by the reflex camera, it received extraordinary coverage by photographers and cineastes—commercial and amateur, national and international. Many images of the Revolution remain iconic to this day—Francisco Villa galloping toward the camera; Villa lolling in the presidential chair next to Emiliano Zapata; and Zapata standing stolidly in charro raiment with a carbine in one hand and the other hand on a sword, to mention only a few. But the identities of those who created the thousands of extant images of the Mexican Revolution, and what their purposes were, remain a huge puzzle because photographers constantly plagiarized each other’s images. In this pathfinding book, acclaimed photography historian John Mraz carries out a monumental analysis of photographs produced during the Mexican Revolution, focusing primarily on those made by Mexicans, in order to discover who took the images and why, to what ends, with what intentions, and for whom. He explores how photographers expressed their commitments visually, what aesthetic strategies they employed, and which identifications and identities they forged. Mraz demonstrates that, contrary to the myth that Agustín Víctor Casasola was “the photographer of the Revolution,” there were many who covered the long civil war, including women. He shows that specific photographers can even be linked to the contending forces and reveals a pattern of commitment that has been little commented upon in previous studies (and completely unexplored in the photography of other revolutions).
Indigeneity and Commonplaces of National Identity in Republican Ecuador
Author: Christa J. Olson
Publisher: Penn State Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
In Constitutive Visions, Christa Olson presents the rhetorical history of republican Ecuador as punctuated by repeated arguments over national identity. Those arguments—as they advanced theories of citizenship, popular sovereignty, and republican modernity—struggled to reconcile the presence of Ecuador’s large indigenous population with the dominance of a white-mestizo minority. Even as indigenous people were excluded from civic life, images of them proliferated in speeches, periodicals, and artworks during Ecuador’s long process of nation formation. Tracing how that contradiction illuminates the textures of national-identity formation, Constitutive Visions places petitions from indigenous laborers alongside oil paintings, overlays woodblock illustrations with legislative debates, and analyzes Ecuador’s nineteen constitutions in light of landscape painting. Taken together, these juxtapositions make sense of the contradictions that sustained and unsettled the postcolonial nation-state.
An Anthropology of Nationalism
Author: Claudio Lomnitz
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Category: Political Science
Author: Jana Wijnsouw
This book elaborates on the social and cultural phenomenon of national schools during the nineteenth century, via the less studied field of sculpture and using Belgium as a case study. The role, importance of, and emphasis on certain aspects of national identity evolved throughout the century, while a diverse array of criteria were indicated by commissioners, art critics, or artists that supposedly constituted a "national sculpture." By confronting the role and impact of the four most crucial actors within the artistic field (politics, education, exhibitions, public commissions) with a linear timeframe, this book offers a chronological as well as a thematic approach. Artists covered include Guillaume Geefs, Eugène Simonis, Charles Van der Stappen, Julien Dillens, Paul Devigne, Constantin Meunier, and George Minne.
Author: Tim Edensor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Social Science
The Millennium Dome, Braveheart and Rolls Royce cars. How do cultural icons reproduce and transform a sense of national identity? How does national identity vary across time and space, how is it contested, and what has been the impact of globalization upon national identity and culture?This book examines how national identity is represented, performed, spatialized and materialized through popular culture and in everyday life. National identity is revealed to be inherent in the things we often take for granted - from landscapes and eating habits, to tourism, cinema and music. Our specific experience of car ownership and motoring can enhance a sense of belonging, whilst Hollywood blockbusters and national exhibitions provide contexts for the ongoing, and often contested, process of national identity formation. These and a wealth of other cultural forms and practices are explored, with examples drawn from Scotland, the UK as a whole, India and Mauritius. This book addresses the considerable neglect of popular cultures in recent studies of nationalism and contributes to debates on the relationship between 'high' and 'low' culture.
Braceros in the Hermanos Mayo Lens
Author: John Mraz,Jaime Vélez Storey
These two scholars have plumbed the rich Mayo Brothers archive in Mexico's Secretariate of Foreign Relations to select the photos represented here on one of the most controversial cross-cultural subjects of their time: the Bracero Program. This landmark coffee table book offers 83 historical photos and an introduction documenting their importance.
Thresholds of Belonging
Author: Analisa Taylor
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Since the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1917, the state has engaged in vigorous campaign to forge a unified national identity. Within the context of this effort, Indians are at once both denigrated and romanticized. Often marginalized, they are nonetheless subjects of constant national interest. Contradictory policies highlighting segregation, assimilation, modernization, and cultural preservation have alternately included and excluded MexicoÕs indigenous population from the stateÕs self-conscious efforts to shape its identity. Yet, until now, no single book has combined the various elements of this process to provide a comprehensive look at the Indian in MexicoÕs cultural imagination. Indigeneity in the Mexican Cultural Imagination offers a much-needed examination of this fickle relationship as it is seen through literature, ethnography, film and art. The book focuses on representations of indigenous peoples in post-revolutionary literary and intellectual history by examining key cultural texts. Using these analyses as a foundation, Analisa Taylor links her critique to national Indian policy, rights, and recent social movements in Southern Mexico. In addition, she moves beyond her analysis of indigenous peoples in general to take a gendered look at indigenous women ranging from the villainized Malinche to the highly romanticized and sexualized Zapotec women of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The contradictory treatment of the Indian in MexicoÕs cultural imagination is not unique to that country alone. Rather, the situation there is representative of a phenomenon seen throughout the world. Though this book addresses indigeneity in Mexico specifically, it has far-reaching implications for the study of indigenaety across Latin America and beyond. Much like the late Edward SaidÕs Orientalism, this book provides a glimpse at the very real effects of literary and intellectual discourse on those living in the margins of society. This bookÕs interdisciplinary approach makes it an essential foundation for research in the fields of anthropology, history, literary critique, sociology, and cultural studies. While the book is ideal for a scholarly audience, the accessible writing and scope of the analysis make it of interest to lay audiences as well. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the politics of indigeneity in Mexico and beyond.
Rulers, Aristocrats and the Formation of Identities
Author: Dr Liesbeth Geevers,Dr Mirella Marini
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Aristocratic dynasties have long been regarded as fundamental to the development of early modern society and government. Yet recent work by political historians has increasingly questioned the dominant role of ruling families in state formation, underlining instead the continued importance and independence of individuals. In order to take a fresh look at the subject, this volume provides a broad discussion on the formation of dynastic identities in relationship to the lineage’s own history, other families within the social elite, and the ruling dynasty.
Prophecy and Popular Culture in Modern Mexico
Author: Edward Wright-Rios
Publisher: UNM Press
In the mid-nineteenth century prophetic visions attributed to a woman named Madre Matiana roiled Mexican society. Pamphlets of the time proclaimed that decades earlier a humble laywoman foresaw the nation’s calamitous destiny—foreign invasion, widespread misery, and chronic civil strife. The revelations, however, pinpointed the cause of Mexico’s struggles: God was punishing the nation for embracing blasphemous secularism. Responses ranged from pious alarm to incredulous scorn. Although most likely a fiction cooked up amid the era’s culture wars, Madre Matiana’s persona nevertheless endured. In fact, her predictions remained influential well into the twentieth century as society debated the nature of popular culture, the crux of modern nationhood, and the role of women, especially religious women. Here Edward Wright-Rios examines this much-maligned—and sometimes celebrated—character and her position in the development of a nation.