Current Institutional Affiliation
Director de Licenciatura en Antropología Social y Cultural, Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales, Universidad Nacional de General San Martín

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Columbia University
Phantoms, Freedom and "Pluralismo": the reemergence of the Rankulche Indians (La Pampa, Argentina)

This is a research on the reemergence of the Rankulche Indian people in the Argentine province of La Pampa, as it challenges and endorses aspects of both "indigenismo" and "pluralismo etnico y cultural." Whereas discourses and practices of "indigenismo" had determined in the past the "extinction" and "phantom-ness" of the Rankulche by dissolving them into mestizos and Mapuche Indians, "pluralismo etnico y cultural" --as multiculturalism is locally framed-- now recognizes their present distinctiviness. I endeavor to analyze how this past phantom-ness might be used now by the Rankulche as a strategy of emancipation from the 'aboriginal difference' that fits into the system of identities fostered by local "pluralismo." These questions will be specifically tracked in the interrelated spaces of history and law insofar as they are constructed as the strategic arenas of Rankulche reemergence. It is through monumental spaces, oral and written histories, and legal claims that not only Rankulche leaders and people but also non-Rankulche local people, government officers and local intellectuals affirm and contest the hegemonic parameters of the present structure of identities.