Oaxaca Resurgent: A Conversation with A. S. Dillingham

Sep 7, 2021, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
Event Description

Seminar on Indigeneity in the Era of Development / Seminario Indigeneidades en la Era del Desarrollo (SIED)


Oaxaca Resurgent: A Conversation with A. S. Dillingham

A. S. Dillingham
, Albright College
Guillermo de la Peña, CIESAS Occidente
Benjamin Smith, Warwick University

Paula López Caballero
Tony Wood, PLAS

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This is the inaugural event for the Seminar on Indigeneity in the Era of Development / Seminario Indigeneidades en la Era del Desarrollo. Coordinated by Paula López Caballero (CEIICH-UNAM) and Tony Wood (PLAS), this binational virtual forum seeks to bring together established and early career scholars interested in the political and cultural history of indigeneity in the Americas. The seminar will encompass not only the populations identified or self-identified as indigenous, but also the experts charged with studying these peoples, as well as the institutional mechanisms designed to “integrate” them into the nation.

This event is devoted to a discussion of A. S. Dillingham’s new book, Oaxaca Resurgent (Stanford UP, 2021), which draws on declassified surveillance documents and original ethnographic research to examine how indigenous people in one of Mexico’s most rebellious states shaped local and national politics during the twentieth century. Focusing on the experiences of anthropologists, government bureaucrats, trade unionists, and activists, Dillingham explores the relationship between indigeneity, rural education and development, and the political radicalism of the Global Sixties. A conversation between Dillingham and Paula López Caballero will be followed by comments from distinguished Mexican anthropologist Guillermo de la Peña and British historian Benjamin Smith.

A. S. Dillingham is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the historical experiences of Native peoples of the Americas, and in particular on twentieth-century Mexico, the intersection of anticolonial politics and educational and development policy, and labor and youth-led social movements. He is currently working on a second book project, a transnational analysis of land, labor, and development initiatives in areas of North American “frontier” settlement.

Guillermo de la Peña is Research Professor at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) (Guadalajara, Mexico), where he has directed several projects on peasants and peasant movements in Latin America, political culture and ethnic relations in urban contexts in Mexico, social and cultural policies towards indigenous peoples in Mexico and Latin America, and the history of Mexican anthropology. He has also published extensively on these subjects. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Jalisco Prize in Science, and has been a Tinker Professor at the Universities of Texas and Chicago as well as a Bolivar Professor at the University of Cambridge.

Benjamin Smith is Professor of Latin American History at the University of Warwick. A historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century grassroots politics in Mexico, he is the author of several books including Pistoleros and Popular Movements: The Politics of State Formation in Postrevolutionary Oaxaca (2009), The Roots of Conservatism in Mexico (2012), and most recently, The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade (2021).

Paula López Caballero is at the Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades (CEIICH) at UNAM in Mexico City. She is the author of Indígenas de la nación: etnografía histórica de la alteridad en México (Milpa Alta, siglos XVII-XXI) (2017) and the co-editor of Beyond Alterity: Destabilizing the Indigenous Other in Mexico (2018).

Tony Wood is a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at the Program in Latin American Studies, Princeton. His work focuses on transnational radical debates on race, class, and the national question in the 1920s and 1930s, tracing connections between Mexico, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, and exploring the legacies of radical left ideas of black and indigenous self-determination.

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