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Guest Editors' Introduction

Guest Editors' Introduction ics. Rather, they exist through agencies whose contingent patterns always admit the possibility of otherwise. Understanding how the anticolonial impetus is processed through nationalism to recolonize the present global system is a necessary condition of new forms of agency and new structure, forms sought by the authors of these essays. The muchacho/muchacha1 is a powerful signifier to the signified of subimperial agency, the nationalist discourse and control mediating between the imperial and the regional franchise. In Michael Taussig’s exploration of the imperial rubber camp massacres directed against the Putamayo people, the muchacho is the category of rational Indian, cooked savage whose acceptance by the colonizer and whose local knowledge and skills magnified the rubber companies’ killing efficiency. The muchacho was not the mute tool of the colonizer but an active agent who used the cultural capital bestowed by the colonizer to create a region of agency, a space of control over the savage majority. If we consider the defining features of the muchacho— semimastery of the colonists’ representational system, intimate knowledge of the Other to be subjugated, and a license to enforce for self and master— the concept can refer to not just the muchacho of a moment http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-8-1-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ics. Rather, they exist through agencies whose contingent patterns always admit the possibility of otherwise. Understanding how the anticolonial impetus is processed through nationalism to recolonize the present global system is a necessary condition of new forms of agency and new structure, forms sought by the authors of these essays. The muchacho/muchacha1 is a powerful signifier to the signified of subimperial agency, the nationalist discourse and control mediating between the imperial and the regional franchise. In Michael Taussig’s exploration of the imperial rubber camp massacres directed against the Putamayo people, the muchacho is the category of rational Indian, cooked savage whose acceptance by the colonizer and whose local knowledge and skills magnified the rubber companies’ killing efficiency. The muchacho was not the mute tool of the colonizer but an active agent who used the cultural capital bestowed by the colonizer to create a region of agency, a space of control over the savage majority. If we consider the defining features of the muchacho— semimastery of the colonists’ representational system, intimate knowledge of the Other to be subjugated, and a license to enforce for self and master— the concept can refer to not just the muchacho of a moment

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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