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Investigating Cuauhtémoc’s Bones: Politics, Truth, and Mestizo Nationalism in Mexico

Karin Rosemblatt, Professor and Director of the Center for Historical Studies, University of Maryland

November 30, 2021 · 5:00 pm6:30 pm · Zoom

Program in Latin American Studies

Part III: Seminar on Indigeneities in the Era of Development

In 1949, a villager from Ixcateopan, Guerrero, produced documents that seemed to indicate that Cuauhtémoc, the last Mexican emperor, was buried in the village church. When bones were subsequently found under the church altar, a very public controversy ensued. Did the bones in fact belong to the nobleman? In answering that question, villagers and experts engaged the place of science, religion, and local tradition in Mexico’s past and present. Karin Rosemblatt’s (University of Maryland) paper shows how official Mexican nationalism and the post-revolutionary state’s politics of mestizaje informed conflicting positions regarding the authenticity of the bones. She also explores how gender and sexuality shaped perceptions of scientific authority and national identity during the Cold War era.

Pre-registration is required. This virtual seminar is free and open to the public.

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