Living Among A Field Of Ruins: (In)Visible Residues Of Violence And Revolution In The Northern Lowlands Of Veracruz, Mexico.
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Salas Landa, Monica
Scholars have examined how the initial destructive phase of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 gave way to a stable and relatively peaceful revolution from above given that major social and economic reforms occurred in a climate of minimal repression. In other words, the post-revolutionary process of state-formation is thought to have entailed the gradual curtailment of violence through the state's monopolization of social and civil regulation. However, anthropological insights into how subtle forms of state violence persist and how violence is reproduced and experienced compel us to reconsider common understandings of the post-revolutionary process of state formation and its legacies. I suggest that notions of violence as something separate from civil order and the ordinary conceal otherwise significant forms of violence. My doctoral project thus focuses neither on the immediate violence of the initial phases of the Mexican revolution nor on the sporadic moments of repression exerted by the consolidated post-revolutionary state. Rather, this project is part of a growing effort to counter the reduction of violence to its manifestation in war and conflict by designing a theoretical approach attentive to its occluded and residual forms. By examining the material traces left by post-revolutionary state interventions in the northern lowlands of Veracruz-objects as seemingly diverse as agrarian maps, decaying oil infrastructures, ethnological photographs and the debris left by the development of an archaeological site-this study reveals how the affective presence and materiality of these concrete residues of violence and revolution have shaped the everyday lives of those who live in and among them. By attending to the afterlife of these state remnants and to the ways in which people overlook, cherish, suppress, or revile them, this project contributes to debates regarding processes of rule and governance in Mexico: their violent accumulation and pervasiveness as well as their ordinary effects in people's everyday lives and imagined futures.
Violence; State formation; Mexico
Craib,Raymond B.; Smith,Adam Thomas
Ph. D., Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis