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Deborah Ann Poole
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2625)
Cultural Properties and the Liberal State in Oaxaca, Mexico

I am requesting NEH support to complete a historical ethnography about the discursive and representational practices through which claims to cultural distinction and indigeneity have been debated in Oaxaca, Mexico. I explore nineteenth century debates about property and genealogy, post-revolutionary state and educational programs, and the gendered visual canons of cultural type. I argue that culture in Oaxaca is conceived of as at once a natural or genealogical connection to locality, and a personal attribute that must be constantly worked on and secured. Ethnographic analysis focuses on suspicion and uncertainty as responses to this notion of culture.

Project fields:

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2006 – 6/30/2006