This article sets up a dialogue between postcolonal theory and Latin American studies. Although some forms of intentional hybridization are contestatory, others, such as the aesthetic statism that developed in postrevolutionary Mexico after the 1920s, are authoritative. Moving from the works of foundational thinkers such as José Vasconcelos and Manuel Gamio, to the centrality of art in the policies they engendered, and to subsequent manifestations of aesthetic statism in the exemplary centers of urban space and in anthropology museums, the article traces some of the links in the genealogy of mestizo nationalism in postrevolutionary 20th-century Mexico.
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