2015 - 2016

  Mexican-Indians: Between Ethnocide and Multiculturalism                                              
Lior Ben DavidGilman-humanities307Sun1800-2000 Sem  2
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description
The course examines various aspects and contexts of "the Indian question" and the interactions between "Indians" and other social groups, both in colonial and Post-independence Mexico. We will discuss the massacre of some indigenous groups, which took place during the Spanish conquest of the country, and will see how this conquest fits into the broader historiographical debate on the genocide of indigenous peoples in the New World and into Raphael Lemkin’s perceptions of the term “genocide”. The relations and “contact zones” between Indians and colonial institutions of power in New Spain will enable us to observe the inherent tensions between the ambitions to Christianize and “civilize” the natives and the desire to dispossess and exploit them. We will also deal with questions of modernization, civilization and genocide from a comparative perspective, while examining the repression and deportation of some Indian populations in northern Mexico and the Yucatán peninsula throughout the 19th century vis-a-vis the extermination of Indians at the same time in Argentina, in a campaign known as “the conquest of the desert”. In the first half of the 20th century we will discuss the attitudes of revolutionary Mexico towards its Indian populations in various arenas such as education, land reform, anthropology, criminology, law and arts; and will scrutinize the official policy of "Indigenismo", which has been described by many of its critics as an ethnocide under the guise of assimilation. At the end of that century we will turn to the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas and explore how it was connected, among other things, to the official recognition of Mexico in "the multicultural composition" of the nation.

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