DE LA CADENA, 2010
Marisol de la Cadena
In her essay "Indigenous Cosmopolitics in the Andes" in the May 2010 issue of Cultural Anthropology, Marisol de la Cadena argues that new idioms are necessary to understand the mix of Indigeneity and politics occurring now in South America. Understanding indigenous peoples and claims in terms of political economy or the creation of alternate public spheres is insufficient. Rather, de la Cadena takes up Isabelle Stengers's notion of cosmopolitics – “where cosmos refers to the unknown constituted by these multiple, divergent worlds and to the articulation of which they would eventually be capable” – to understand the new forms and force of indigeneity in Peru, Bolivia, and beyond.
Within de la Cadena's narrative, indigenous practices and new entities become political actors on the national and international level. She examines how Indigenous earth-beings – “sentient entities whose material existence, and that of the worlds to which they belong, is currently threatened by the neoliberal wedding of capital and the state” – take part as actors in political events. Ausangate's anger at the construction of a mine or Quilish's intervention on the political stage “disavow the separation between Nature and Humanity, upon which the political theory our world abides by was historically founded.”
Combining rich ethnographic material with concepts drawn from diverse theoreists such as Stengers, Bruno Latour, and Jacques Rancière, de la Cadena develops an understanding of Indigenous cosmopolitics as a site of equivocation where all interlocutors “both understand and do not understand the same thing by the same words,” where movements for cultural and environmental rights contain the possibility of a pluriversal politics.
Cultural Anthropology has published many essays on politics in Latin America. See, for example, Thomas Pearson’s “On the Trail of Living Modified Organisms: Environmentalism Within and Against Neoliberal Order” (2009); Cymene Howe’s “Spectacles of Sexuality: Televisionary Activism in Nicaragua” (2008); and Charles Brigg’s “Mediating Infanticide: Theorizing Relations between Narrative and Violence” (2007).
Cultural Anthropology has also published many essays focused specifically on indigeneity in Latin America. See, for example, Charles Hale’s “Activist Research versus the Cultural Critique” (2006); Ana Maria Alonso’s “Conforming Disconformity: “Mestizaje,” Hybridity, and the Aesthetics of Mexican Nationalism” (2004); Diane Nelson’s “Stumped Identities: Body Image, Bodies Politic, and the Mujer Maya as Prosthetic” (2001) by David W. Dinwoodie’s “Authorizing Voices: Going Public in an Indigenous Language” (1998); and Jean Jackson’s “Preserving Indian Culture: Shaman Schools and Ethno-Education in the Vaupes, Colombia” (1995).
Marisol de la Cadeña is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. Her current research interrogates the relationship between indigeneity and “politics” in the Andes.
Workers of the Yanacocha mine march to demand the reopening of roads in Cajamarca (Spanish).
Peru's indigenous groups vow to fight for land.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS BY THE AUTHOR
2008 "Alternative Indigeneities: Conceptual Proposals." Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 3(3):341-349.
2005 "Are mestizos hybrids? The Conceptual Politics of Andean identities." Journal of Latin American Studies 37(2): 259-284.
2005 "The Production of Other Knowledges and Its Tensions: From Andeanist Anthropology to Interculturalidad." In World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power. Gustavo Lins Ribeiro and Arturo Escobar, eds. Pp. 201-224. Oxford: Berg Publishers.
2000 Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco Peru. Durham: Duke University Press.
2006 “The Culture of Democracy and Bolivia’s Indigenous Movement” in Critique of Anthropology 26 (4): 387-410.
Aparicio, Juan and Mario Blaser
2008 “The Lettered City and the Insurrection of Subjugated Knowledges in Latin America” Anthropological Quarterly 81(1): 59-94.
1996 In the Society of Nature: A Native Ecology in Amazonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2002 "How Should an Indian Speak? Brazilian Indians and the Symbolic Politics of Language Choice in the International Public Sphere." In Indigenous Movements, Self-Representation and the State in Latin America. Jean Jackson and Kay Warren, eds. Pp. 181-228. Austin: University of Texas Press.
1992 We Eat the Mines and the Mines Eat Us: Dependency and Exploitation in Bolivian Tin Mines. New York: Columbia University Press.
2005 "A Cosmopolitical Proposal." In Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, eds. Pp. 994-1003. Cambdridge: MIT Press.