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Theorizing Race in the AmericasDouglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos$
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Juliet Hooker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190633691.001.0001

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“A Doctrine that Nourished the Hopes of the Nonwhite Races”

“A Doctrine that Nourished the Hopes of the Nonwhite Races”

Vasconcelos, Mestizaje’s Travels, and US Latino Politics

(p.155) 4 “A Doctrine that Nourished the Hopes of the Nonwhite Races”
Theorizing Race in the Americas

Juliet Hooker

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the development of José Vasconcelos’s enormously influential conception of Latin American mestizaje as an anti-colonial ideology developed in response to US imperialism. It shows how Vasconcelos’s ideas about race were developed in direct conversation with US racial politics. The chapter traces the differences between Vasconcelos’s engagement with US racial politics in his most well-known text, The Cosmic Race, and subsequent works in which he urged Latin Americans to embrace a nonwhite racial identity. This position was based in large part on an analysis of racism against Latinos in the United States during “the nadir” era. The chapter also analyzes how mestizaje has traveled by tracing late-twentieth-century invocations of The Cosmic Race by US Chicano and Latino thinkers, such as Gloria Anzaldúa. Selectively borrowing from Vasconcelos, she “queers” mestizaje by centering a feminist, female, queer, mestiza, border subject.

Keywords:   José Vasconcelos, The Cosmic Race, mestizaje, Latin America, US imperialism, Latinos, Gloria Anzaldúa, nadir era, Eugenics, mestizo futurism

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