Issue 19.4, November 2004

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Abstract

"Discussing the emergence of a contemporary, global aesthetics, Robert Stam notes:

If the nationalist discourse of the 1960s drew sharp lines between First World and Third World, oppressor and oppressed, post-nationalist discourse replaces such bi- nary dualisms with a...spectrum of subtle differentiations....Purity gives way to “contamination.”...Colonial tropes of irreconcilable dualism give way to post- colonial tropes drawing on the diverse modalities of mixedness. [1998:1]

My Google search for mestizaje turns up 53,200 hits, mestiza yields 81,200 hits, and mestizo is the big winner with 142,000 hits.1 More frequently used as adjectives rather than as nouns, these latter terms evoke a certain sensibility that confounds the exotic with the familiar, the past with the present, and that values “mixedness” in everything from cuisine to bookmarks, from dress to multimedia endeavors, and from household furnishings to scholarly articles. Taste informs theory as well as consumer habits."

"Conforming Disconformity: “Mestizaje”, Hybridity, and the Aesthetics of Mexican Nationalism." by Ana María Alonso