Taking Indigenous Politics on its Own Terms Requires an Analysis Beyond “Politics”
Speaker: Marisol de la Cadena, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Davis
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009
Location: 3201 Hart Hall
Indigenous politics in Latin America has been branded as ‘ethnic politics,’ a quest to make ‘indigenous cultural rights’ prevail. Yet, what if ‘culture’ is insufficient, even an inadequate notion, to conceptualize the challenge that indigenous politics currently represent? Drawing ethnographic inspiration from recent events in the Andes I argue that current indigenous movements propose an ontological pluralization of politics as they conjure sentient entities (mountains, water, and soil-i.e. what we call nature) into the public political arena. Epistemically, this process cancels the nature-culture divide central to modern forms of representation, and exceeds notions of plurality conceived as the opening of politics to the participation of humans marked by gender, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religious belief–or any other diacritic of human difference.
Co-sponsor: Latin@American Cultural Studies Research Cluster