Reading a Silence: The "Indian" in the Era of Zapatismo

María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Spanish colonialism universalized Indian identity, as all inhabitants of the Americas were rendered “Indian”—egardless of their heterogeneous cultures and political organizations—in contradistinction to Spaniards. For three centuries, Spanish colonial governmentality in the Americas successfully articulated processes of exploitation with procedures of cultural formation to produce racial and ethnic differences. These differences in turn have structured modern national identities in most of Latin America. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Spanish Crown perfected ways of managing its most valuable asset in the New World: indigenous labor. It established institutions for the subjugation of the indigenous population and for the rationalization of its exploitation. The communitarianism of village life revolving around the town council of elders, now identified as a hallmark of various Mesoamerican indigenous cultures, is nevertheless the by-product of the colonial regime’s success at dismantling supra communal levels of organization and identification.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationUnbecoming Modern
    Subtitle of host publicationColonialism, Modernity, Colonial Modernities, Second Edition
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429651335
    ISBN (Print)9780367135737
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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