Work in Progress Talk: Marco Calderón
Friday, March 14, 2008 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
The Latin American Library Seminar Room
7001 Freret Street, 4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
Work in Progress Talk by Greenleaf Fellow Marco Calderón: Social Experiments and Indigenous Education in Mexico
From 1932 to 1933, Mexico 's Department of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública, SEP) financed a social experiment in the indigenous town of Carapan (state of Michoacán). Despite its short lifespan, the “Experimental Station” at Carapan became an emblem of the history of “culturalist indigenism” throughout Latin America due, in part, to the publication of Moisés Sáenz' book: Carapan: bosquejo de una experiencia, in 1936. Carapan became a “social laboratory” where researchers sought to find suitable methods for integrating indigenous peoples into the Mexican state and nation. Much less well-known is the experience in Actopan, a village in the Mezquital Valley (state of Hidalgo ), where the SEP funded a similar venture. In 1928, a “Permanent Cultural Mission” was set up in Actopan and, in 1931, Carlos Basauri carried out several research projects there, on such topics as culture, folklore and nutrition, among others. At that time, Sáenz was traveling through Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, also looking for methods to effectuate the incorporation of Indian peoples. These two figures were part of the SEP's “Commission for Indigenous Research” (Comisión de Investigaciones Indígenas). Upon his return to Mexico, Sáenz led the Carapan project, in collaboration with Basauri and other notable intellectuals of the time, including José Miguel Othón de Mendizábal. An important antecedent of this history was the program of “Integrated Development” that Manuel Gamio had directed in the Teotihuacan Valley in the late 1910s; a second significant precedent was the John Geddis Gray Memorial Expedition of 1928, a project co-financed by Tulane University and the SEP, in which Basauri also participated.
This event was made possible through an endowment from Tulane Emeritus Professor Richard E. Greenleaf.
Refreshments to follow the talk.