New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico

New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico

Book Pages: 416 Illustrations: Published: March 2012

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies > Brazil, Mexico

Bringing together historically and ethnographically grounded studies of the social and political life of Brazil and Mexico, this collection of essays revitalizes resistance as an area of study. Resistance studies boomed in the 1980s and then was subject to a wave of critique in the 1990s. Covering the colonial period to the present day, the case studies in this collection suggest that, even if much of that critique was justified, resistance remains a useful analytic rubric. The collection has three sections, each of which is preceded by a short introduction. A section focused on religious institutions and movements is bracketed by one featuring historical studies from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries and another gathering more contemporary, ethnographically-based studies. Introducing the collection, the anthropologist John Gledhill traces the debates about resistance studies. In the conclusion, Alan Knight provides a historian’s perspective on the broader implications of the contributors’ findings.

Contributors. Helga Baitenmann, Marcus J. M. de Carvalho, Guillermo de la Peña, John Gledhill, Matthew Gutmann, Maria Gabriela Hita, Alan Knight, Ilka Boaventura Leite, Jean Meyer, John Monteiro, Luis Nicolau Parés, Patricia R. Pessar, Patience A. Schell, Robert Slenes, Juan Pedro Viqueira, Margarita Zárate


“The wealth of the ethnographic data will certainly be of use for future scholars and interested individuals, and the volume as a whole presents an important addition to contemporary studies of politics and power – regardless of whether one will agree with Gledhill or with Sahlins.”
— Aleksandar Boškovic, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico, constitutes a welcome assessment of a major intellectual trend in the contemporary academic world…. the chapter case studies are well suited for introducing undergraduate students to questions of interpretation in history. The volume… should be of interest to specialists regardless of discipline.” — Alan Shane Dillingham, History: Reviews of New Books

“...the interdisciplinary and international aspects of the project, not to mention the ambitious interinstitutional collaboration sustaining it, add refreshing and innovative qualities to the final product.” — Clifford Welch, Hispanic American Historical Review

“Overall, New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico is a welcome addition to the growing literature on subaltern agency in Latin America and will provide ample material for discussions of key historiographical and theoretical issues for any graduate seminar which assigns this book." — Matthew Rothwell, Canadian Journal of History

“The volume offers valuable ethnographic material, as well as provocative theoretical refl ections on the resistance studies genre that surged in the 1980s and on the subsequent critiques. . . . The contributors to this volume explicitly challenge what they consider to be the romanticization of resistance, and in the process they pose important questions for scholars employing the concept." — Richard Stahler-Sholk, Journal of Anthropological Research

“Overall, New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico is a welcome addition to the growing literature on subaltern agency in Latin America and will provide ample material for discussions of key historiographical and theoretical issues for any graduate seminar which assigns this book.”  — Matthew Rothwell, Canadian Journal of History

 "A significant contribution to the debate on resistance through a number of case studies in Brazil and Mexico." — Steven Wenz, AmeriQuests

"A terrific collection of works by a broad array of scholars working in different fields and in universities on different continents. And, although it is indeed quite specialized, the work is accessible and can be assigned to advanced undergraduates. . . . The book as a book is certainly worthwhile, and the individual essays can each be read as challenging, interesting, and discrete studies of some aspect of resistance in Brazil or Mexico."  — Joel Wolfe, EIAL

New Approaches to Resistance in Brazil and Mexico is a fascinating collection. It gives a broad overview of the ‘resistance boom’ of the 1980s, while providing a serious critique from a more contemporary perspective. It puts scholars from different disciplines into conversation, and it introduces English-language readers to the work of Latin American scholars whose work is not as well known as it should be. This collection will be widely read, and it will stimulate debate.” — Jeffrey Lesser, author of A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy, 1960–1980

“This collection offers extraordinarily rich and historically and ethnographically penetrating analyses of the concept of resistance, developing more nuanced and powerful applications of the concept based on detailed case studies from Mexico and Brazil. The authors are recognized authorities and the each present original work of great interest and value. The essays are outstanding and the introduction by John Gledhill and the concluding discussion by Alan Knight are masterful summaries of the complex issues that emerge in the essays.” — Donald Pollock, University at Buffalo, SUNY


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

John Gledhill is the Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Power and Its Disguises: Anthropological Perspectives on Politics.

Patience A. Schell is a Senior Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Church and State Education in Revolutionary Mexico City.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction. A Case for Rethinking Resistance / John Gledhill 1

Part One: Resistance and the Creation of New Worlds 21

1. Rethinking Amerindian Resistance and Persistence in Colonial Portuguese America / John Monteiro 25

2. Rituals of Defiance: Past Resistance, Present Ambiguity / FelipeCastro Gutiérrez 44

3. Indian Resistances to the Rebellion of 1712 in Chiapas / Juan Pedro Viqueira 63

4. The "Commander of All Forests" against the "Jacobins" of Brazil: The Cabanada, 1832–1835 / Marcus J. M. de Carvalho 81

5. A "Great Arch" Descending: Manumission Rates, Subaltern Social Mobility, and the Identities of Enslaved, Freeborn, and Freed Blacks in Southeastern Brazil, 1791–1888 / Robert W. Slenes 100

Part Two: Resisting through Religion and for Religion 119

6. Millenarianism, Hegemony, and Resistance in Brazil / Patricia R. Pessar 123

7. Where Does Resistance Hide in Contemporary Candomblé? / Luis Nicolau Parés 144

8. Catholic Resistances in Revolutionary Mexico during the Religious Conflict / Jean Meyer 165

9. Gender, Resistance, and Mexico's Church-State Conflict / Patience A. Schell 184

Part Three: Rethinking Resistance in a Changing World 205

10. Tracing Resistance: Community and Ethnicity in a Peasant Organization / Margarita Zárate 221

11. Resistance, Factionalism, and Ethnogenesis in Southern Jalisco / Guillermo de la Peña 230

12. The Transhistorical, Juridical-Formal, and Post-Utopian Quilombo / Ilka Boaventura Leite 250

13. From Resistance Avenue to the Plaza of Decisions: New Urban Actors in Salvador, Bahia / Maria Gabriela Hita 269

14. Contestation in the Courts: The Amparo as a Form of Resistance to the Cancellation of Agrarian Reform in Mexico / Helga Baitenmann 289

15. Beyond Resistance: Raising Utopias from the Dead in Mexico City and Oaxaca / Matthew Gutmann 305

Conclusion. Rethinking Histories of Resistance in Brazil and Mexico / Alan Knight 325

Bibliography 355

About the Contributors 389

Index 391
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5187-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5173-3
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