Northwestern University

Fri 12:00 PM

Interpreting Indigeneity Through Bolivian Lucha Libre

recurring see all events in this series

When: Friday, November 17, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Iszy Licht   847.467.2770

Group: Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


Under Bolivia’s first Indigenous-identified president, Indigenous people have made social gains. As a result, debates about who qualifies as “authentically Indigenous” have become more pronounced. Through ethnographic research, Nell Haynes approaches the shifting ideologies and discourses on indigeneity in Bolivia by looking at lucha libre, a form exhibition wrestling.

In the early 2000s, a group of women wrestlers dubbed themselves the “cholitas luchadoras,” and perform wearing clothing associated with urban Indigenous women. For some fans, they represent Indigenous women’s empowerment, while others feel they use indigeneity as a “gimmick” that exemplifies a lack of respect toward Indigenous women. Haynes uses these competing interpretations of the “cholitas luchadoras” to understand the ways that indigeneity has become a site of contestation in Bolivia in recent years, speaking more broadly to how racial subjectivities emerge, persist, and shift within particular social contexts.

Nell Haynes is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist who focuses on the changing nature of indigeneity within global systems of economics, politics, art, and popular culture. Haynes focuses on the ways in which "authentic indigeneity" shifts as forms of self-expression and ways of identifying inevitably combine the local and the global.

The Buffett Institute Faculty & Fellows Colloquium brings together an interdisciplinary audience to build awareness of global research on campus. This series promotes dialogue on scholarship and develops a deeper sense of community among Buffett Institute affiliates. Each meeting lasts one hour; lunch is provided. Due to space constraints, we will not admit attendees once the space reaches capacity.

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