Compromising Positions: Racializing Bodies at Pueblo Indian Schools

in Coyote Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780226532424
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226532523 | DOI:
Compromising Positions: Racializing Bodies at Pueblo Indian Schools

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This chapter discusses New Mexican Indian schools, where Anglo educators sought to train students in the bodily requirements of citizenship. This racialization of Indian boys and girls (linking physical characteristics like length of hair with abstract qualities such as capacity for citizenship) helped Anglos articulate a social order where those conforming to Anglo standards of bodily comportment received the greatest rewards and those who deviated, the greatest punishment. The chapter suggested that central to the racialization projects of Anglo educators in New Mexico was teaching and enforcing the proper regulation and maintenance of bodily and social boundaries. Like the rest of New Mexico, the struggles between Pueblo students—many of them earnest and energetic learners—and Anglo educators, similarly enthused and excited about their professions, over bodies and body practices reveal much about race, citizenship, and colonialism along one of America's most ragged of edges.

Keywords: New Mexico; schools; racialization; citizenship; social order; Anglo educators

Chapter.  11379 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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