Visions of the Emerald City: Modernity, Tradition, and the Formation of Porfirian Oaxaca, Mexico

Visions of the Emerald City: Modernity, Tradition, and the Formation of Porfirian Oaxaca, Mexico

By: Mark Overmyer-Velazquez (author)Paperback

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Visions of the Emerald City is an absorbing historical analysis of how Mexicans living in Oaxaca City experienced "modernity" during the lengthy "Order and Progress" dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911). Renowned as the Emerald City (for its many buildings made of green cantera stone), Oaxaca City was not only the economic, political, and cultural capital of the state of Oaxaca but also a vital commercial hub for all of southern Mexico. As such, it was a showcase for many of Diaz's modernizing and state-building projects. Drawing on in-depth research in archives in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and the United States, Mark Overmyer-Velazquez describes how Oaxacans, both elites and commoners, crafted and manipulated practices of tradition and modernity to define themselves and their city as integral parts of a modern Mexico.Incorporating a nuanced understanding of visual culture into his analysis, Overmyer-Velazquez shows how ideas of modernity figured in Oaxacans' ideologies of class, race, gender, sexuality, and religion and how they were expressed in Oaxaca City's streets, plazas, buildings, newspapers, and public rituals. He pays particular attention to the roles of national and regional elites, the Catholic church, and popular groups-such as Oaxaca City's madams and prostitutes-in shaping the discourses and practices of modernity. At the same time, he illuminates the dynamic interplay between these groups. Ultimately, this well-illustrated history provides insight into provincial life in pre-Revolutionary Mexico and challenges any easy distinctions between the center and the periphery or modernity and tradition.

About Author

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.


Illustrations and Tables ix Preface xi Introduction: Writing the Emerald City 1 1. La Vallistocracia: The Formation of Oaxaca's Ruling Class 17 2. The Legible City: Constructed, Symbolic, and Disciplined Spaces 40 3. "A New Political Religious Order": Church, State, and Workers 70 4. "A Necessary Evil": Regulating Public Space and Public Women 98 5. Portraits of a Lady: Visions of Modernity 122 Conclusions: The Consequences of Modernity 153 Appendix: Articles Cited from the 1857 Constitution 161 Notes 163 Bibliography 203 Index 221

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822337904
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 248
  • ID: 9780822337904
  • ISBN10: 0822337908

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