Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Chile, Indigenismo, Mapuche, Transnational
Arts and Humanities
This study examines Mapuche political organization in Chile from 1920-1960 through the lens of transnational indigenismo. In that period, politicians, academics and social reformers across the Americas were questioning how to incorporate indigenous populations into modern national states. While many historical accounts of similar phenomena in other countries have drawn categorical distinctions between indigenismo (as a movement led by white elites) and indigenous activism (led by Indians themselves), this work places the two phenomena side-by-side to explore connections between them. That approach shows that collaboration, periodic conflict and strategic alliance making were important components of indigenous politics in Chile. It also brings indigenous agency to the fore, and in doing so challenges historical interpretations of indigenismo that have characterized it as a paternalistic mechanism of the neocolonial state. It joins a growing body of scholarship that recognizes indigenismo as an important influence on and precursor to identity-based indigenous social movements that emerged in the late-twentieth century.
Stegeman, Henry John, "To Plow a Lonely Furrow: Indigenismo and Mapuche Politics in Chile,
1920-1960" (2018). Dissertations - ALL. 878.