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The Mexican Mestizo: A Life in Science

The Mexican Mestizo: A Life in Science
89 Charles St, Burwash Hall Private Dining Room
Time: Nov 15th, 3:00 pm End: Nov 15th, 5:00 pm
Interest Categories: Spanish & Portuguese (FAS), Latin American, History (FAS), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), 2000-, 1950-2000, 1900-1950, 1800-1900
Lecture by Carlos Lopez Beltran, UNAM

The Latin American Studies Program is pleased to present:

Carlos López Beltrán (UNAM)

The Mexican Mestizo: A Life in Science

 

This lecture will explore the ideological and scientific incarnations of the mestizo.

For over 150 years the figure of the Mestizo has been a unifying identitary figure around which a sense of a common nationality (and citizenship) was crafted, out of the shreds of a heterogeneous and belicose pots-colonial social body. The identification of the Mexican with the Mestizo was all but accomplished during the 20th century by the post-revolutionary educational and ideological efforts. Only marginal groups of Indígenas and White (europeanised) elites, together with small immigrant communities fell out of the homogeneising (and to some extent egalitarian) Mestizo mantle. Apart from a very complex history, still being revisited and disputed, in the realm of Mexican ideological and political imagination, the Mestizo has been an object of concern and debate within the sciences for most of Mexican history. Since the colonial period the theoretical understanding of how the sexual reproduction of bodies with so many differences in complexion and temperament was a highly disputed issue. The different historical periods with their changing theoretical and political conditions gave rise to a range of understandings of the Mestizo and of the process of Mestizaje. I will exemplify some of the most important scientific incarnations of the Mexican mestizo, bringing the story up to the present, when the revitalization in Genomic science of racial categories as potentially useful for biomedicine and bio-history gave the Mestizo a new breathing space in the Lab.

Carlos López Beltrán is a Researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas at UNAM, Mexico. He specializes in the historical and philosophical study of the life sciences. The notion of inheritance (in physiological and biological sense) has occupied a considerable portion of his research efforts. He has been a guest researcher and lecturer at the University of Paris VII, CNRS REHSEIS in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Autonomous University of Madrid, and ITESM - Mexico City.  Before devoting himself to academic research on life sciences, Carlos López Beltrán studied Experimental Biology (UAM-Iztapalapa), Hispanic Literature (FFyL -UNAM) and Philosophy of Science (UAM -Iztapalapa, University of Cambridge). He has also worked as publisher, editor, translator, writer on art and popular science, essayist, and poet - and he still finds some time to devote to these affairs. He is the author of El Sesgo Hereditario (UNAM, 2004), La Ciencia como Cultura (Paidós, 2005), Las Cosas No Naturales (poetry, Trilce, 1997), Entre los Intersticios (poetry, La Máquina de Escribir, 1980). He has edited or co-edited the following volumes: La Generación del Cordero (Antología de Poesía Británica Contemporánea, con Pedro Serrano, Trilce, 2000), Perspectivas y horizontes de la Filosofía de la Ciencia a la vuelta del tercer milenio, Vol. III (UNAM, 2006), Saberes locales; Ensayos sobre historia de la ciencia en América Latina (con Frida Gorbach), El Colegio de Michoacán.

This event is co-sponsored by:

  • Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
  • Department of Spanish & Portuguese
  • Dalla Lana School of Public Health

This event is open to the public but registration is required.  Please click HERE to register.

For more information, please contact the Latin American Studies Program at (416) 946-8035.


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