Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

1/1/2006 - 6/30/2006

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$24,000.00 (awarded)

Cultural Properties and the Liberal State in Oaxaca, Mexico

FAIN: FA-51704-05

Deborah Ann Poole
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2608)

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.