Catalogue

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Without history : subaltern studies, the Zapatista insurgency, and the specter of history /
José Rabasa.
imprint
Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010.
description
x, 358 p. : ill.
ISBN
0822960656 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780822960652 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010.
isbn
0822960656 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780822960652 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Pre-Columbian pasts and Indian presents in Mexican history -- Of Zapatismo : reflections on the folkloric and the impossible in a subaltern insurrection -- Historical and epistemological limits in subaltern studies -- Beyond representation? : the impossibility of the local (notes on subaltern studies in light of a rebellion in Tepoztlan, Morelos) -- Negri by Zapata : constituent power and the limits of autonomy -- The comparative frame in subaltern studies -- On the history of the history of peoples without history -- Revolutionary spiritualities in Chiapas today : immanent history and the comparative frame in subaltern studies -- Without history? : apostasy as a historical category -- In the Mesoamerican archive : speech, script, and time in Tezozomoc and Chimalpahin -- On documentary and testimony : the revisionists' history, the politics of truth, and the remembrance of the massacre at Acteal, Chiapas -- Exception to the political.
catalogue key
7165210
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-12-01:
Rabasa (Romance languages and literatures, Harvard) wrote these well-researched essays from the mid-1990s onward. In them, he explores and questions the different historical and narrative "frames" imposed on indigenous people from the time of the Spanish arrival in 1492 to present-day Mexico. He also reflects on the narratives of salvation, civilization, national formation, developments, and capitalism draining all possible forms of life. The common thread is the author's claim that "subaltern studies" theory offers a radical alternative point of view, one contrary to traditional historiography organized by elites, that "enable[s] ... imagining of the future in the ever-present now of insurgency." Rabasa proposes some instances of indigenous resistance, insurrection, rebellion, and uprisings as opposing imposed Occidentalization, and he emphasizes these strategies as legitimate examples of subaltern thinking. Building on the work of Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Antonio Gramsci, and Marx and Lenin, the author adds his own interpretation of the meaning of history from indigenous perspectives. The book includes a vast quantity of well-organized notes, an up-to-date bibliography, illustrations and photos, and a very useful index. It is a valuable contribution to scholarship on Latin American cultural studies and, in particular, Mexican culture and history. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. J. S. Bottaro Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York
Reviews
Review Quotes
“A valuable contribution to scholarship on Latin American cultural studies and, in particular, Mexican culture and history.” -Choice
"This collection brings together JosÉ Rabasa's ground-breaking essays on the EZLN and TepoztlÁn as exemplary instances of subaltern discourse and struggle. Drawing on Marx, Gramsci, and contemporary subaltern theory, Rabasa argues for a conceptualization of the indigenous as outside history, capitol and the state. This book is obligatory reading for those concerned with critical theory and Latin American cultural studies." -Cynthia Steele, University of Washington
“This collection brings together Jos Rabasa’s ground-breaking essays on the EZLN and Tepoztl n as exemplary instances of subaltern discourse and struggle. Drawing on Marx, Gramsci, and contemporary subaltern theory, Rabasa argues for a conceptualization of the indigenous as outside history, capitol and the state. This book is obligatory reading for those concerned with critical theory and Latin American cultural studies.” -Cynthia Steele, University of Washington
"Truly outstanding and original. Rabasa provides a solid genealogy of indigenous thinking in dialogue with Western Epistemes. He opens a universe of meaning for scholars interested in the ideological richness of the first confrontations between Europeans and Amerindians and explains the possibilities for the production of knowledge-all the way to the present, where history is still a terrain of struggle for contesting ideas and displaying the resiliency of subaltern epistemes." -Ileana Rodríguez, The Ohio State University
“Truly outstanding and original. Rabasa provides a solid genealogy of indigenous thinking in dialogue with Western Epistemes. He opens a universe of meaning for scholars interested in the ideological richness of the first confrontations between Europeans and Amerindians and explains the possibilities for the production of knowledge-all the way to the present, where history is still a terrain of struggle for contesting ideas and displaying the resiliency of subaltern epistemes.” -Ileana Rodr guez, The Ohio State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The author contrasts indigenous accounts of the Acteal Massacre (in which 45 unarmed members of the Las Abejas organization were murdered while at prayer) and other events with Mexican attempts to frame the past, control subaltern populations and legitimatise its own authority.
Main Description
On December 22, 1997, forty-five unarmed members of the indigenous organization Las Abejas (The Bees) were massacred during a prayer meeting in the village of Acteal, Mexico. The members of Las Abejas, who are pacifists, pledged their support to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a primarily indigenous group that has declared war on the state of Mexico. The massacre has been attributed to a paramilitary group composed of ordinary citizens acting on their own, although eyewitnesses claim the attack was planned ahead of time and that the Mexican government was complicit. InWithout History,Joseacute; Rabasa contrasts indigenous accounts of the Acteal massacre and other events with state attempts to frame the past, control subaltern populations, and legitimatize its own authority. Rabasa offers new interpretations of the meaning of history from indigenous perspectives and develops the concept of a communal temporality that is not limited by time, but rather exists within the individual, community, and culture as a living knowledge that links both past and present. Due to a disconnection between indigenous and state accounts as well as the lack of archival materials (many of which were destroyed by missionaries), the indigenous remain outside of, or without, history, according to most of Western discourse. The continued practice of redefining native history perpetuates the subalternization of that history, and maintains the specter of fabrication over reality. Rabasa recalls the works of Marx, Lenin, and Gramsci, as well as contemporary south Asian subalternists Ranajit Guha and Dipesh Chakrabarty, among others. He incorporates their conceptions of communality, insurgency, resistance to hegemonic governments, and the creation of autonomous spaces as strategies employed by indigenous groups around the globe, but goes further in defining these strategies as millennial and deeply rooted in Mesoamerican antiquity. For Rabasa, these methods and the continuum of ancient indigenous consciousness are evidenced in present day events such as the Zapatista insurrection.
Main Description
On December 22, 1997, forty-five unarmed members of the indigenous organization Las Abejas (The Bees) were massacred during a prayer meeting in the village of Acteal, Mexico. The members of Las Abejas, who are pacifists, pledged their support to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a primarily indigenous group that has declared war on the state of Mexico. The massacre has been attributed to a paramilitary group composed of ordinary citizens acting on their own, although eyewitnesses claim the attack was planned ahead of time and that the Mexican government was complicit. In "Without History, "Jose Rabasa contrasts indigenous accounts of the Acteal massacre and other events with state attempts to frame the past, control subaltern populations, and legitimatize its own authority. Rabasa offers new interpretations of the meaning of history from indigenous perspectives and develops the concept of a communal temporality that is not limited by time, but rather exists within the individual, community, and culture as a living knowledge that links both past and present. Due to a disconnection between indigenous and state accounts as well as the lack of archival materials (many of which were destroyed by missionaries), the indigenous remain outside of, or without, history, according to most of Western discourse. The continued practice of redefining native history perpetuates the subalternization of that history, and maintains the specter of fabrication over reality. Rabasa recalls the works of Marx, Lenin, and Gramsci, as well as contemporary south Asian subalternists Ranajit Guha and Dipesh Chakrabarty, among others. He incorporates their conceptions of communality, insurgency, resistance to hegemonic governments, and the creation of autonomous spaces as strategies employed by indigenous groups around the globe, but goes further in defining these strategies as millennial and deeply rooted in Mesoamerican antiquity. For Rabasa, these methods and the continuum of ancient indigenous consciousness are evidenced in present day events such as the Zapatista insurrection.
Main Description
On December 22, 1997, forty-five unarmed members of the indigenous organization Las Abejas (The Bees) were massacred during a prayer meeting in the village of Acteal, Mexico. The members of Las Abejas, who are pacifists, pledged their support to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, a primarily indigenous group that has declared war on the state of Mexico. The massacre has been attributed to a paramilitary group composed of ordinary citizens acting on their own, although eyewitnesses claim the attack was planned ahead of time and that the Mexican government was complicit. In Without History, Jos Rabasa contrasts indigenous accounts of the Acteal massacre and other events with state attempts to frame the past, control subaltern populations, and legitimatize its own authority. Rabasa offers new interpretations of the meaning of history from indigenous perspectives and develops the concept of a communal temporality that is not limited by time, but rather exists within the individual, community, and culture as a living knowledge that links both past and present. Due to a disconnection between indigenous and state accounts as well as the lack of archival materials (many of which were destroyed by missionaries), the indigenous remain outside of, or without, history, according to most of Western discourse. The continued practice of redefining native history perpetuates the subalternization of that history, and maintains the specter of fabrication over reality. Rabasa recalls the works of Marx, Lenin, and Gramsci, as well as contemporary south Asian subalternists Ranajit Guha and Dipesh Chakrabarty, among others. He incorporates their conceptions of communality, insurgency, resistance to hegemonic governments, and the creation of autonomous spaces as strategies employed by indigenous groups around the globe, but goes further in defining these strategies as millennial and deeply rooted in Mesoamerican antiquity. For Rabasa, these methods and the continuum of ancient indigenous consciousness are evidenced in present day events such as the Zapatista insurrection.

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