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Pinturas de Casta: Mexican Caste Paintings, a Foucauldian Reading

del Val, Nasheli Jiménez 2009. Pinturas de Casta: Mexican Caste Paintings, a Foucauldian Reading. New Readings 10 , pp. 1-7. 10.18573/newreadings.67

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This article looks at the genre of casta painting developed in colonial Mexico during the eighteenth century. The genre consists of a series of paintings representing the different racial mixes that characterised New Spain throughout the colonial period and that continue to play an important role in contemporary Mexican society. By referring to several Foucauldian concepts such as disciplinary power, biopower, normalisation, deviance and heterotopia, this essay aims to locate the links between this genre and prevailing discourses on race, with a particular focus on the ensuing institutional and political practices implemented in the colony during this period. Centrally, by focusing on this genre as a representational technology of colonial surveillance, the paper argues that discourses on race in New Spain oscillated between an ideal representation of colonial society, ordered and stabilised through rigid classificatory systems, and a real miscegenated population that demanded a more fluid understanding of the colonial subject’s societal value beyond the limitations of racial determinism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 1359-7485
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2020
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 10:44

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