Current Institutional Affiliation
Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, George Washington University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, New York University (NYU)
Narratives of Location: Televisual Media and the Production of Indigenous Identities in Mexico

Media practices are quickly becoming the new frontier of collective social identity formation in Native communities in Mexico at a time when self-conscious reflections of about 'culture' are replacing constructions about identity grounded in concepts of land reform or peasantry. I propose to conduct ethnographic research over a 12-month period on the production, circulation and consumption of indigenous media in Mexico to understand how these new identity formations are mediated and what is at stake. I will demonstrate that audiovisual media are emerging as new tools in struggles for cultural and political autonomy for Native people in Mexico and reveal how their use in communities fortifies self-conscious processes of identity affirmation and builds solidarity across regional and national boundaries. My research is framed by four central questions: 1). To what extent do media practices represent collective action emerging from indigenous communities? 2). What effects are media practices of self-representation having on community social relationships and cultural life? 3). How do government-sponsored indigenous media practices figure into a long 38 history of development programs designed for Native people? and 4). How are such media practices, which strive to affirm local, grounded identities, connected to globalizing processes?