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Orpheus and Power Michael George Hanchard Princeton University Press


10th July 2013 History Books 0 Comments

Hanchard offers a host of imaginative theoretical possibilities that brings a new and welcome vigor to Afro-Brazilian studies. — Kim D. Butler, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

A book rich in insight and full of striking detail…. Advocacy enlivens the book and makes it all the more important to both the specialist and to the general or classroom reader. — Richard Graham, American Journal of Sociology

Hanchard’s book constitutes an important contribution to the literature on Brazilian black organizations, notably through its interview-based account of the emergence of the [Movimento Negro], and the attempt to extend or complement the structuralist approach by highlighting cultural and ideological factors. — William Assies, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

“This book will be well received both because of the timeliness of the topic and the novel way in which it is treated. Virtually nothing exists in English that deals carefully with first-hand, participant accounts as this work does. It is also an intriguing development of Gramscian theory as applied to racial/ethnic identity, organization, and conflict.”–Lowell Gudmundson, Mount Holyoke College

From recent data on disparities between Brazilian whites and non-whites in areas of health, education, and welfare, it is clear that vast racial inequalities do exist in Brazil, contrary to earlier assertions in race relations scholarship that the country is a “racial democracy.” Here Michael George Hanchard explores the implications of this increasingly evident racial inequality, highlighting Afro-Brazilian attempts at mobilizing for civil rights and the powerful efforts of white elites to neutralize such attempts. Within a neo-Gramscian framework, Hanchard shows how racial hegemony in Brazil has hampered ethnic and racial identification among non-whites by simultaneously promoting racial discrimination and false premises of racial equality.

Drawing from personal archives of and interviews with participants in the Movimento Negro of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Hanchard presents a wealth of empirical evidence about Afro-Brazilian militants, comparing their effectiveness with their counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean in the post-World War II period. He analyzes, in comprehensive detail, the extreme difficulties experienced by Afro-Brazilian activists in identifying and redressing racially specific patterns of violation and discrimination. Hanchard argues that the Afro-American struggle to subvert dominant cultural forms and practices carries the danger of being subsumed by the contradictions that these dominant forms produce.

Hanchard offers a host of imaginative theoretical possibilities that brings a new and welcome vigor to Afro-Brazilian studies. — Kim D. Butler, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

A book rich in insight and full of striking detail…. Advocacy enlivens the book and makes it all the more important to both the specialist and to the general or classroom reader. — Richard Graham, American Journal of Sociology

Hanchard’s book constitutes an important contribution to the literature on Brazilian black organizations, notably through its interview-based account of the emergence of the [Movimento Negro], and the attempt to extend or complement the structuralist approach by highlighting cultural and ideological factors. — William Assies, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Orpheus and Power

Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans, and the State after the Revolution

“Crafting Mexico is an important and original contribution to the literature on
visual arts in national ideologies. The detailed history, sophisticated analyses, intriguing case studies, and wonderful black and white and color photographs make this book essential to the library of anyone interested in Mexican popular art. “ – Michael Chibnik, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

“Crafting México is a major contribution to the growing literature on nation, revolution, and indigenismo in postrevolutionary Mexico. . . . This fascinating and richly illustrated book is a fitting testimony to over a decade of exhaustive research and careful writing. It will surely serve as a model for future work.” – Stephen E. Lewis, The Americas

“Crafting Mexico is an impressive work of cultural and intellectual history
that is unique in analyzing the intersection of grassroots practices with
intellectual currents. It should gain an audience among scholars of state
formation beyond Mexico or Latin America.” – Robert F. Alegre, History: Reviews of New Books

“Crafting Mexico covers much new territory. Its linkage of local, national, and transnational history is exemplary.”—Mary Kay Vaughan, co-editor of The Eagle and the Virgin: Nation and Cultural Revolution in Mexico, 1920–1940

“In recent decades, historians of twentieth-century Mexico have reshaped the way we understand state and nation formation—particularly popular constructions of the national—and the role that foreign actors have played in brokering Mexico’s distinctive, transnational process of becoming modern. Crafting Mexico represents a culminating moment in these inquiries. Better than any study I know, it wrestles with the complex process whereby Mexico transformed itself from a fragmented society, driven by regional loyalties, linguistic and cultural particularism, and caudillo politics, into one of the hemisphere’s most unified nations. Part of the answer, Rick A. López argues masterfully, lies in a surprisingly contingent aesthetic and political process that embraced foreign and local actors, cosmopolitan intellectuals and indigenous crafts producers, and a panoply of state and private initiatives. Deftly integrating analytical and spatial dimensions, and bridging temporal boundaries, Crafting Mexico is a substantial achievement.”—Gilbert M. Joseph, co-editor of Fragments of a Golden Age: The Politics of Culture in Mexico since 1940

After Mexico’s revolution of 1910–1920, intellectuals sought to forge a unified cultural nation out of the country’s diverse populace. Their efforts resulted in an “ethnicized” interpretation of Mexicanness that intentionally incorporated elements of folk and indigenous culture. In this rich history, Rick A. López explains how thinkers and artists, including the anthropologist Manuel Gamio, the composer Carlos Chávez, the educator Moisés Sáenz, the painter Diego Rivera, and many less-known figures, formulated and promoted a notion of nationhood in which previously denigrated vernacular arts—dance, music, and handicrafts such as textiles, basketry, ceramics, wooden toys, and ritual masks—came to be seen as symbolic of Mexico’s modernity and national distinctiveness. López examines how the nationalist project intersected with transnational intellectual and artistic currents, as well as how it was adapted in rural communities. He provides an in-depth account of artisanal practices in the village of Olinalá, located in the mountainous southern state of Guerrero. Since the 1920s, Olinalá has been renowned for its lacquered boxes and gourds, which have been considered to be among the “most Mexican” of the nation’s arts. Crafting Mexico illuminates the role of cultural politics and visual production in Mexico’s transformation from a regionally and culturally fragmented country into a modern nation-state with an inclusive and compelling national identity.

Crafting Mexico: Intellectuals, Artisans, and the State after the Revolution










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