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Caribbean, Latin American & Latino Studies

Masters of Arts in Humanities in Caribbean and Latin/o American Studies (CLAS)
A Multi-Sited Pre-Professional Program in Advanced Studies and Research

Racial “Gods” and mestizaje

Continuing with their semester-long exploration of the official discourse on Mexicanness our students are conducting extensive fieldwork throughout the neighborhoods and the hinterland of Merida, Yucatan. They are looking at commercial propaganda in an effort to find a correlation between the images of the peoples and “bodies” portrayed in public advertising and the social realities of a polis built on the conquest and historical subjugation of the Mayan peoples and on a caste system that is strictly maintained and policed. To do this they are traveling all over the city on foot and by bus charting the precise location of  billboards and adds and noting the messages and the visual contents in an effort to come up with a critical perspective on the gap between the official discourse of Mexicanness, structured around the notion of mestizaje, and the permanence and continuous reproduction of the socio-racial “ideal” of the “white” body of an English-speaking subject.

February 18, 2014