ANT 391 • Legal Pluralisms & Indigenous Politics in Latin America
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
The course will be a seminar that will look at the growth of the indigenous social movements in Latin America from the perspective of legal pluralism. Focusing and contrasting the cases of Guatemala, Colombia and Bolivia, the seminar will critically examine, the connection of citizenship, constitutional reforms, and the rise of indigenous social movements. One of the objectives will be to examine the coincidence between constitutional reforms and international legislation, particularly the U.N. International Labor Organization's (ILO) Convention 169. In order to evaluate the importance of constitutional reforms we will examine the historical context in which such reforms took place and the role international legislation played there. Our deliberations will center around the question of citizenship and nationalism as viewed by such contemporary authors as W. Kymlicka, J. Tully, Van Cott, B. de Sousa Santos, J. Rappaport, J. Jackson and R. Sieder, considering the different modes of engagement of such authors with what are today some of the most powerful experiences of contested citizenship in Latin America. The first part of the seminar will be devoted to examine the theoretical debate in order to suggest to students ways to "read" the news that are now current, around indigenous resistance and political change in the region. The second part will focus in contrasting the three countries I have chosen, Guatemala and Bolivia as societies where the indigenous populations are the majority, but with very asymmetric strengthen indigenous movements. In addition, Colombia the country in the region with the most advance openness of the state to recognized rights to the indigenous populations. With Bolivias elections coming in January 2006, where for the first time in Latin America an Indian candidate supported by the social movement against the political establishment is challenging institutional politics, the stage is set for a historic showdown. In this regard the seminar represents a unique opportunity to theorize and hopefully help create new spaces of social and legal interpretation and discourse.