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Being Indian in Hueyapan


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Table of Contents

Zeferina Barreto and her Family (1969-1970) The History of Dona Zeferina and her Family The History of Hueyapan What it Means to be Indian in Hueyapan Religion in Hueyapan The Role of the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico: A New Period of 'Evangelization' in Hueyapan Cultural Extremists The Anthropologist and the Indians Being Indian Revisited

About the Author

Judith Friedlander has done anthropological research on questions of ethnic identity in Mexico, the American Southwest and France. In addition to Being Indian in Hueyapan, she is best known for having written Vilna on the Seine: Jewish Intellectuals in France Since 1968 and for translating works by the French public intellectual Alain Finkielkraut. Since 1972, Friedlander has taught Anthropology at SUNY Purchase, Hunter College/the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the New School for Social Research. She has also served as an academic dean at these three institutions, most


'When I read this book in a graduate seminar in 1982, it provoked passionate debate and critical engagement. How to gauge the cumulative ideological influence of colonialism, state building, and other powerful forces on the meaning of Indianness, and the socio-economic place of indigenous peoples, in Mexico? How to fully register this influence, without neglecting the generative processes of indigenous self-making and resistance? Especially with the new final chapter on neoliberal multiculturalism, Friedlander's answers to these questions are just as provocative, timely and vital to consider now as they were 25 years ago. There is no higher praise that can be bestowed on social science research than to affirm its longevity, its ability to link empirical particularity to the enduring, big picture problems of our times. Being Indian in Hueyapan is richly deserving of this praise.' - Charles R. Hale, University of Texas at Austin; President of the Latin American Studies Association 2006-07

'This is a very instructive book on one of Mexico's old, poor, now mostly trashed villages, the kind that urbane Mexicans keep reinventing as 'Indian,' or 'indigenous,' and keep exploiting however they can. In a poignant revision it combines the author's original work of 1969-70 (when she was 25), her mature reflections on her work and the village now, particularly the family she loved there and its new generations, and her critical take on self-serving anthropology, American and Mexican. It carries sharp, strong arguments about the meaning of 'being Indian,' or 'indigenous,' and the confusion in Mexico (but not only there) over nationalism, ethnicity, belonging, and alienation, 35 years ago and now. It makes you see power's continual resort to 'culture' to justify exploitation.' -John Womack, Harvard University

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