Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature - Latin American Decolonial and Postcolonial Literature (Hardback)
  • Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature - Latin American Decolonial and Postcolonial Literature (Hardback)
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Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature - Latin American Decolonial and Postcolonial Literature (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 20/12/2016
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While there are differences between cultures in different places and times, colonial representations of indigenous peoples generally suggest they are not capable of literature nor are they worthy of being represented as nations. Colonial representations of indigenous people continue on into the independence era and can still be detected in our time. The thesis of this book is that there are various ways to decolonize the representation of Amerindian peoples. Each chapter has its own decolonial thesis which it then resolves. Chapter 1 proves that there is coloniality in contemporary scholarship and argues that word choices can be improved to decolonize the way we describe the first Americans. Chapter 2 argues that literature in Latin American begins before 1492 and shows the long arc of Mayan expression, taking the Popol Wuj as a case study. Chapter 3 demonstrates how colonialist discourse is reinforced by a dualist rhetorical ploy of ignorance and arrogance in a Renaissance historical chronicle, Agustin de Zarate's Historia del descubrimiento y conquista del Peru. Chapter 4 shows how by inverting the Renaissance dualist configuration of civilization and barbarian, the Nahua (Aztecs) who were formerly considered barbarian can be "civilized" within Spanish norms. This is done by modeling the categories of civilization discussed at length by the Friar Bartolome de las Casas as a template that can serve to evaluate Nahua civil society as encapsulated by the historiography of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, a possibility that would have been available to Spaniards during that time. Chapter 5 maintains that the colonialities of the pre-Independence era survive, but that Criollo-indigenous dialogue is capable of excavating their roots to extirpate them. By comparing the discussions of the hacienda system by the Peruvian essayist Manuel Gonzalez Prada and by the Mayan-Quiche eye-witness to history Rigoberta Menchu, this books shows that there is common ground between their viewpoints despite the different genres in which their work appears and despite the different countries and the eight decades that separated them, suggesting a universality to the problem of the hacienda which can be dissected. This book models five different decolonizing methods to extricate from the continuities of coloniality both indigenous writing and the representation of indigenous peoples by learned elites.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498535182
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 238 x 158 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Written in the best tradition of the essay, Decolonizing Indigeneity is an informed, engaging analysis of a necessary subject that encompasses five centuries of the complex and diverse cultural histories in Latin America. -- Juan J. Daneri, East Carolina University
In Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature, Thomas Ward, working with deep erudition and sharp analysis, questions the paradigm we have inherited for the teaching of Latin American literature. He argues that both the canon and methods in use privilege a Eurocentric approach that not only leaves out the indigenous past and present civilizations of Mexico, Peru and Guatemala but foments the massive erasing and forgetting starting with and by the Conquest. In trenchant chapters that push to the fore Indigenous thought past and present, Ward restores indispensable representations of Indigenous cultures and inverts the standing paradigm. He outlines a new intellectual organization that pulls the rug from under the hegemonic organization of knowledge of Spanish departments as well as departments of Modern Languages. Required reading for all scholars interested in deep historical cultural formations and curricular reorganization, globalization and the future of knowledge relative to the world's demographies. -- Sara Castro-Klaren, Johns Hopkins University

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