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LASA 2022 Panel on Indigeneous Intellectuals

I will chair the panel “Invisible Mediations: Indigenous Intellectuals in Nineteenth-Century Mexico” (Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 04:00 PM).


Latin American historiography is still exploring and analyzing the role of nineteenth-century indigenous intellectuals. This is particularly striking in a country such as Mexico, where people of indigenous descent were influential writers and political leaders, governors, ministers, and even presidents. The historiography has largely mirrored and perpetuated the political fortunes of these figures, preserving for posterity only the memory of brazenly liberal and unabashedly Hispanized indigenous intellectuals who severed their ties with indigenous communities. Yet such selective visibility has excluded from national memory indigenous intellectuals whose political and religious allegiances fell on the wrong side of history, who continued to address their linguistic communities or tried to negotiate (and litigate) their relationship to the liberal state. Similarly, cultural history has largely ignored their work as scholars, interpreters, and translators.