Sı eres Genízaro : race, indigeneity, and belonging in northern New Mexico
MetadataShow full item record
Despite a sustained interest in the formation of Genízaro identity in northern New Mexico during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, little has been done to address its collective persistence and maintenance today. Whether serving as the corporeal buffer zones between Native and colonial nodes of power as Indigenous slaves, settlers, or military scouts, Genízaros continue to be recognized for our historical presence and contemporary absence. Yet nestled in the Rio Chama and Taos valleys of northern New Mexico, individuals, families, and communities maintain Genízaro identity as a continued experience—myself included. This ongoing tension motivates my dissertation to examine the politics of recognition, representation, and subject formation in northern New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest Borderlands through an anthropological study of Genízaro identity in the Rio Chama and Taos valleys. While facilitating rigorous archival and ethnographic research agendas, my analytical and methodological movements are intently focused on particular histories and experiences of Genízaro social life within both communities, including: education, land tenure, cultural representation, cultural expression and spatial formation, and the politics of Indigenous recognition. This study is situated at the intersections of sociocultural anthropology, Mexican American and Latinx Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Striding along these disciplinary boundaries, my project speaks in multiple registers, simultaneously, to consider how the structuration of intelligible social, cultural, and political forms shape the examination, expression, and embodiment of recognizable subject positions and social formations. Indeed, this question is approached through the distinct lens of Genízaro Indigeneity to explore its dynamism by repositioning its analytical focal point toward the discursive interstices of race, latinidad, transnationalism, and Indigeneity. In effect, this dissertation illuminates the ways in which region-based logics of intelligible, Indigenous “livable life” have impacted the examination and expression of Genízaro identity in northern New Mexico.