Indigenous/Colonial Mexican Theatre Proposal

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Nov. 13th

We will use Luis Valdez's Teatro Campesino as a lens in which to dissect the historical Cortez encounter between Colonial powers and the Indigenous Aztecs'. Cortez symbolizes "Colonial white power" over the Aztecs in modern Chicano Theatre. He also represents the white power bond over Chicanos' throughout history and into the present.

Roman Guastaferro
Nicole LaFontaine
Katherine Toutin
Amanda Waldhoff
Lura Wilson

TH 3171
Group Project Proposal


Indigenous Mexican/Colonial Theatre

Our project will focus on comparing and analysing performance aspects upon the arrival of Cortez to Mexico with the work of Luis Valdez starting with 1965. In 1965 Luis Valdez formed El Teatro Campesino, a farm worker's theatre troupe. During the same year the Immigration Law in the US changed and remained as we know it today. His troupe soon grew into a national Chicano Theatre Movement. Valdez frequently lectures about El Teatro Campesino, and focuses on the importance of Chicano media to help fight the negative ethnic stereotypes.
We chose to research these two time periods because we are aware of the relevance of Valdez's work in our contemporary context of Mexican Immigration but we also consider that this revival of Mexican theatre would only had been possible under the influence of Colonization. In our beginning research we came upon Valdez as a very active member of the Chicano community who still has resonance and is an active artist in the present.
In order to decide on a narrow topic we consulted the following sources from the library site and the web:

Booth, Willard C. "Dramatic Aspects of Aztec Rituals." JSTOR. University of Minnesota, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. "The Solitude of Latin America." Nobel Prize. Speech.

Ludden, Jennifer. "1965 Immigration Law Changed Face of America." NPR (2006): n. pag. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

Necessary Theatre: Luis Valdez. YouTube. UCtelevision, 19 June 2008. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

"The Official Site of El Teatro Campesino." The Official Site of El Teatro Campesino. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2012. .


2 Comments

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Hi Group,

I like how you're attempting to juggle contemporary Chicano/a issues alongside the colonial theatre tradition, but I want to offer some advice that will help you keep your agenda clear. Because of the scope of this particular theatre history class (Greek to Neo-Classical), it's important that your main avenue of research stay within that time period. To make sure this happens, you should utilize your research on Teatro Campesino as a lens through which to view the "encounter" between colonizers and indigenous mexicans (such as the Aztecs).

Remember the way I framed the Ajax in Iraq conversation? I stressed the importance of acknowledging the revision to past events effected by contemporary writers and scholars who take up historical issues. One strategy for this would be to look for the figure of Cortez in Valdez's work and then situate that figure next to the historical figure himself. However you choose to proceed, make sure that you don't end up privileging Teatro Campesino.

When I look at your citations, I notice that the majority of sources point toward contemporary theatre. You'll have to supplement that research with sources on Aztec performance. If you search for books in our library with the terms "Aztec performance," you'll find that the first 10 or 15 sources are all relevant for your group. Also, check out Performing conquest : five centuries of theater, history, and identity in Tlaxcala, Mexico, by Patricia Ybarra (use the index to focus on key terms once you have them).

Minor note regarding citation formatting: You did a good job with the structure of the citations, but remember that you must italicize book and journal titles. In what journal, for example, does the Booth article come from? Utilize HTML tags to italicize and bold things. (I'll take off a couple of points for this).

You do not have to revise your proposal, but I'd like you to publish an addendum to the proposal once you've looked into some of the historical sources a bit more. That addendum should address the intersections between Teatro Campesino and the indigenous Mexican world.

GRADE for "Narrow your scope": 93% (assuming you post your addendum soon and supplement your research with the stuff I mention above)

I hope this is where we are supposed to leave our once a week blog posts? Well here it goes;

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_drama_review/summary/v055/55.2.nielsen.html

If you all want to click the link and check out this article on project muse you should. It talks about colonialism as a performance and relates to Cortez. It talks about the "role" that the Aztecs played as well as "indigenous sovereign"

"With Performing Conquest, Patricia Ybarra's commanding research demonstrates "performance is an epistemology of conquest" (60) and hence a historiographical practice that is negotiated by colonizers and 'colonized' alike. The figure of the complicitous examplar is at the heart of Ybarra's analysis of Tlaxcala, Mexico, whose tactics appear to gesture the role of indigenous sovereign"

I think this is interesting and want to look at how colonialism is it's self a performance. I want to find more research on how they may have tried to convert the Aztecs to catholism since religion is almost always a performance. I ahve been thinking a lot of conventions of performance, religion, and colonialism. Of course I have been thinking of the conventions of "whitness" as well and our WEIRD lens and how that is effecting all of my thinking and research. Are we going to relate this to our WERID lens?-I think we should. I think there is something in that.

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This page contains a single entry by touti001 published on November 10, 2012 10:17 AM.

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