Northwestern Events Calendar

Dec
4
2018

LACS Faculty and Graduate Colloquium - Arturo Chang: Reframing Preservation: Civic Religion and Justified Rebellion in the Republican Discourse of 18th Century Mexico

When: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM  

Where: Crowe Hall, Room 1132, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Linda Remaker   847.491.7980

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic

Description:

One of the most recognizable features of Republican Political Thought is illustrated by the notion of collective preservation through social practice. This preservationist strand of republican thinking has engendered powerful critiques of domination and centralized authority, ranging from Cicero and the Italian Renaissance, to Rousseau’s Critique of Modernity, and the French Revolution. In the context of the so-called “New World” the language of republicanism is diversely deployed to frame revolutionary movements that targeted abuses of absolute power, perhaps most famously, by the Haitian Revolution of 1791. In a differing context of late 18th century Mexico, the language of republicanism is deployed along more bureaucratic terms. The Republicas de Indios, for instance, functioned more as a distributive extension of the absolutist Bourbon Reforms than as locusts of civic activity. My talk focuses on the Mexican context to demonstrate that the rhetoric of republicanism was used by peasants, indigenous peoples, and merchants to form unlikely alliances that claimed belonging and justified resistance against the tyranny of “bad government.” This form of republican revolution, I argue, emerges in a pre-state form that roots membership in the preservation of American progress as a phenomenon of modernity. These republican structures would go on to frame the language of liberalism leading toward Mexican independence in the early 19th century.

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