Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Arguedas: reverse anthropologist

Thinking a bit about the anthorpology of the moderns that Latour proposes in AIME. Such anthropology would be very wary of the Moderns' self-description in terms of domains (science, politics, religion, economy...) and would rather look for something else that underlies both their practices and the way they describe them. Been yesterday at the premises of the Intercultural University of Veracruz (UVI) here in Xalapa to attend to the launching of the La Comunidad Transgredida by Fortino Domingues Rueda. His work looks at a hybrid: urban Zoques, a population of native people who have become citizens of big towns. Fortino is himself a Zoque. The UVI is full of anthropologists of all non-white groups (to some extent, non-Modern). Maybe they are the ones who could carry out an endeavor such as an anthropology of the moderns. And I recalled the work of José Maria Arguedas (who killed himself in 1969) in Spain. He went to a traditional (i.e. non-modern) rural community to study Spanish peasants in order to understand the hybrid which is the peasant culture in the Andes. In a world of hybrids, the natives of hybridism have the experience of becoming modern. Arguedas talks about this (it was something that drove his suicide, as he hints in "The fox of up above and the fox of down below"). Hybrids are in a position to reckon the pains of becoming modern with the accompanying relativism that, as Latour writes also in AIME, "never traffics in hard cash".

No comments:

Post a Comment