On the the 31st session of the CLACS Faculty Working Group on Racisms in Comparative Perspective, we are pleased to host Deborah Poole of Johns Hopkins University who will present "Mestizaje as Ethical Disposition: Indigenous Rights in the Neoliberal State."
This article explores the modes of aspiration, skepticism, and suspicion that constitute the inheritance of mestizaje in neoliberal Peru. Drawing on recent controversies regarding the metrics deployed to determine access to indigenous rights, it argues for the need to move away from liberal understandings of mestizaje as a bounded ‘identity’ claim, to consider instead how the politics and discourse of mestizaje shape a more generalized affective politics of skepticism regarding all identity claims.
Deborah Poole is Professor of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA). Her research explores the intersection of sentiment, history, visuality and state form in local political life in Mexico and Peru. Her publications include Peru: Time of Fear (1992; with Gerardo Rénique), Unruly Order: violence, power and cultural identity in the high provinces of southern Peru (1994), Vision, Race and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World (1997), the Blackwell Companion to Latin American Anthropology (2008) and Anthropology in the Margins of the State (2004; with Veena Das). She has also authored numerous articles on customary law, cultural politics and performance, corruption, photography, violence, indigenismo, race and the state in Mexico (Oaxaca) and Peru. She is currently engaged in two book projects, a collaborative ethnography of state decentralization in Peru, and an historical ethnography of the liberal state in Oaxaca, Mexico.