After Spanish Rule

Postcolonial Predicaments of the Americas

After Spanish Rule

Latin America Otherwise

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Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 5 illustrations Published: November 2003

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

Insisting on the critical value of Latin American histories for recasting theories of postcolonialism, After Spanish Rule is the first collection of essays by Latin Americanist historians and anthropologists to engage postcolonial debates from the perspective of the Americas. These essays extend and revise the insights of postcolonial studies in diverse Latin American contexts, ranging from the narratives of eighteenth-century travelers and clerics in the region to the status of indigenous intellectuals in present-day Colombia. The editors argue that the construction of an array of singular histories at the intersection of particular colonialisms and nationalisms must become the critical project of postcolonial history-writing.

Challenging the universalizing tendencies of postcolonial theory as it has developed in the Anglophone academy, the contributors are attentive to the crucial ways in which the histories of Latin American countries—with their creole elites, hybrid middle classes, subordinated ethnic groups, and complicated historical relationships with Spain and the United States—differ from those of other former colonies in the southern hemisphere. Yet, while acknowledging such differences, the volume suggests a host of provocative, critical connections to colonial and postcolonial histories around the world.

Thomas Abercrombie
Shahid Amin
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra
Peter Guardino
Andrés Guerrero
Marixa Lasso
Javier Morillo-Alicea
Joanne Rappaport
Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo
Mark Thurner


"After Spanish Rule is an important book, sparkling with insights and challenges to received wisdom. . . . [R]equired reading. . . . This volume proves that the engagement between Latin American and postcolonial studies is certainly worthwhile." — Peter Wogan , Journal of Anthropological Research

"[A] fine and timely volume. . . . After Spanish Rule is both intellectually coherent and full of lively discussion between contributors. There is a real sense of the distinct essays communicating with each other, and the reader would be well advised to read the whole book. It is a valuable critical addition to the slowly growing field of postcolonial studies in the Americas." — Elisa Sampson Vera Tudela , Journal of Latin American Studies

"[A] stimulating and provoking collection that reaches across a wide spectrum of fields and specialisations in order to overhaul the ways that we think about the period after Spanish rule. As Simón Bolívar might have reflected upon reading a volume such as this, ploughing the sea might have to be the first hesitant step towards serving the revolution." — Matthew Brown , Bulletin of Latin American Research

"[A]n outstanding collection of essays. . . . [G]raduate students and theoretically-oriented scholars will find much to excite their minds in these engaging essays that demonstrate recent orientations in historians' engagement with postcolonial theory." — Rick López , The Americas

"[S]timuating. . . . [B]reaks some new ground in attempting to incorporate the former Spanish American colonies into discussions of postcolonialism." — Eric Van Young, American Historical Review

"This book is a thoughtful assessment of Latin America in the postcolonial historiography. After Spanish Rule makes a significant contribution to the debate by providing evidence that counters the idea of Latin American exceptionalism. It will be of interest to scholars and graduate students." — Charlotte M. Gradie, History: Reviews of New Books

After Spanish Rule occupies the ground between Latin American exceptionalism and the so-called universalism of postcolonial studies. These essays enrich the field of postcolonial studies by bringing Latin American materials within its purview.”
  — Gyan Prakash, editor of After Colonialism: Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Mark Thurner is Associate Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Florida. He is the author of From Two Republics to One Divided: Contradictions of Postcolonial Nationmaking in Andean Peru, also published by Duke University Press.

Andrés Guerrero is affiliated with La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), a research institute with branches in all Latin American countries. He is the author of numerous books in Spanish.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Foreword / Shahid Amin xi

1. Escritura: On Imagining/Writing Postcolonial Histories

Point and Counterpoint / Andrés Guerrero 3

After Spanish Rule: Writing Another After / Mark Thurner 12

Essaying the History of National Images / Maricio Tenorio Trillo 58

2. Poetica: Knowledges, Nations, Histories

Postcolonialism avante la lettre? Travelers and Clerics in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Spanish America / Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra 89

"Aquel laberinto de oficinas": Ways of Knowing Empire in Late-Nineteenth-Century Spain / Javier Morillo-Alicea 111

Peruvian Genealogies of History and Nation / Mark Thurner 141

Mothers and Mistresses of the Urban Bolivia Public Sphere: Postcolonial Predicament and National Imaginary in Oruro's Carnival / Thomas A. Abercrombie 176

3. Politica: Governmentalities, States, Subjects

Revisiting Independence Day: Afro-Colombian Politics and Creole Patriot Narratives, Cartagena, 1809–1815 / Marixa Lasso 223

Postcolonialism as Self-Fulfilled Prophecy? Electoral Politics in Oaxaca, 1814–1828 / Peter Guardino 248

The Administration of Dominated Populations under a Regime of Customary Citizenship: The Case of Postcolonial Ecuador / Andrés Guerrero 272

Redrawing the Nation: Indigenous Intellectuals and Ethnic Pluralism in Contemporary Colombia / Joanne Rappaport 310

Contributors 347

Index 349
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3194-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3157-5
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