Reviews

Author: 
Lyon, Sarah, Josefina Aranda Bezaury and Tad Mutersbaugh

Lyon, Sarah, Josefina Aranda Bezaury and Tad Mutersbaugh. “Gender Equity in Fairtrade–Organic Coffee Producer Organizations: Cases from Mesoamerica.” Geoforum 41 (2010): pp. 93-103.

This article looks at the circumstances of women working in fairtrade-organic-certified coffee production in southern Mexico and Guatemala. The authors specifically ask how the notional standards and procedural norms of certification (96) have influenced gender equity within the context of an increasing feminization of agriculture and decreasing value of coffee on the world market. Their primary interest is in assessing the impact of fairtrade-organic regulations on the participation of women along value chains; gender relations in households; and the role and capacity of women in organizational networks. The data used in this analysis comes from organizational ethnographies and quantitative data provided by the State Coordinator of Oaxacan Coffee Producers (CEPCO), one of the organizations also providing ethnographic data.

To begin with, the authors describe the feminization of agriculture as a situation in which men often migrate in search of higher paying work, leaving women in charge of the farms they leave behind. In these instances, women are burdened with an extra workload, on top of domestic work. Additionally, because of the lower prices paid for coffee since its peak on the world market in 1986—which usually accounts for the men leaving in the first place—and the tendency of women, given the restrictions imposed by labor, to rely on coyotes rather than forming collectives, they often to receive less compensation. Due to a mix of the doubling of labor and cultural norms, women’s degree of participation along the value chain, then, tends to be restricted to the farm, although some women are moving into inspector positions.

Author: 
Poole, Deborah

Poole, Deborah. “Landscape and the Imperial Subject: U.S. Images of the Andes, 1859-1930” In Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations. Ed. Gilbert M. Joseph, Catherine C. LeGrand, and Ricardo D. Salvatore. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998, pp. 107-38.



Poole uses three visual representations of Latin American landscapes—Frederic Edwin Church's Heart of the Andes (1859), an 1868 engraving by Ephraim George Squier, and a photograph done by Hiram Bingham in 1913—to question the role of the visual in constituting Said's "pleasures of empire." She also leverages these images to examine different periodizations of visual imperialism, or three distinct “visual regimes” (131), as she calls them: 1) one pertaining to a trancendentalist mode of possessing the subject through representation, aligned with Manifest Destiny; 2) another characterized by the quantification of experience; and a final period 3) coinciding with the modernist abstraction of form and content in which the attainment of a “new view” supercedes (indeed, according to Pool, erases) that which is represented. Poole argues that each of these three periods marks a distinct way in which the “imperial gaze”(131) was manifest.

Resorting to Emerson’s individualism (111), and Locke’s and Jefferson’s ideas of nature as property (115), Poole looks at Church’s Heart of the Andes as the embodiment of this first period. Literally, she speaks of the way the painting—through techniques of production (mirror-like, glossy surface, no clear foreground to clarify POV) and presentation (separate, spaced panels, dark room, single image)—evokes a sense of disembodiment in the viewer (the transcendentalism) and evoked a sense of utopian and desocialized nature (116). This, she argues, is an aesthetic project that can be closely correlated with the possessive thrust of Manifest Destiny, in which a false notion of wilderness as empty property bolstered homesteading projects and fueled westward expansion.

Author: 
Crosby, Alfred

Crosby, Alfred W. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Picking up where he left off in The Columbian Exchange, Crosby uses Ecological Imperialism to approach the questions of how and why Old World, and particularly European populations spread throughout the globe, establishing flourishing settlements in distant places, in a way not seen in the history of any other segment of humanity. To deal with the problem he deploys the notion of Neo-Europes, geographically distant places with similar climates, where the indigenous populations were either practically non-existent or small enough to be eviscerated and supplanted by small numbers of European settlers that would eventually reproduce as flourishing populations. Examples of Crosby’s Neo-Europes dealt with in the text include: The northeastern part of North America, The bioregion surrounding Buenos Aires, the northeastern quadrant of Australia surrounding Queensland, and the majority of New Zealand.

The book begins by tracing geological time, tracking the separation of Pangaea and the significance of the Neolithic age—with domestication of plants and animals, and eventual large-scale manipulation of metals to form tools—as a fork in the road of humanity. Here Crosby argues the Sumerians and their descendants made cultural strides that would eventually facilitate imperial expansion and the founding of the Neo-Europes. (Of note: “Culture” here is defined as “a system of storing and altering patterns of behavior not in the molecules of the genetic code but in the cells of the brain” (14), similar in its non-exclusivity to Wade Davis’ idea of culture as the product of “making sense of the sensory.”)

Author: 
Crosby, Alfred W.

Crosby, Alfred W. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1972.

Given that in it Crosby plants the seeds of such central works as those by Elinor Melville and Virginia DeJohn Anderson, I can see why The Columbian Exchange has been deemed one of the canons. The crux of Crosby's argument is that the Conquest spurred an uneven and ultimately detrimental transfer of biota between the Old World and New, one that, given the speed and brutality of its implementation, has been and will be catastrophic for biological diversity. Central to his point is the idea of "biological allies" (52): those pathogens, plants and animals that facilitated the physical, environmental and cultural conquest of the new world, and the reverse transfer of biota that were introduced to the old world as a result of Columbus' journey.

Structurally the book begins with a longue dureé treatment of the biological—including humans—contrasts that characterized what became known as the new and old worlds since the Pleistocene. These contrasts resulted from the opposed evolutionary paths that developed after the disappearance of the Bering Strait land bridge. (Interestingly the horse and camel originated in America, but migrated against the current of humans across the Bering land bridge.) He particularly focuses on the way those contrasts, once discovered, shook centuries of European worldview. Here he discusses debates over mono-and polygeneticism, the 6,000 year theory and post-Columbian theorizations of the Amerindian.

Author: 
French, William

French, William. “In the Path of Progress: Railroads and moral Reform in Porfirian Mexico.” In Railway Imperialism. Clarence Davis et al eds. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991, pp. 85-102.

A precursor to the first half of A Peaceful and Working People, this article looks at efforts to instill a capitalist work ethic and middle-class morality in late Porfirian Chihuahua, particularly as related to the birth of the foreign-owned northern railroads. As far as scale, French begins with the nation-state, looking at the developmentalist ideology of Díaz and the pro-modernization Mexican elite, or Científicos. The scale is progressively reduced as discussion of the influence of foreign capital and new railroads gives way to issues dealt with in A Peaceful and Working People, namely efforts to curb drunkenness, prostitution, gambling and vagrancy, and institute a more rigid adherence to clock-time, in order to supply northern mines with a more disciplined workforce and instill a value set that conformed with the ideas of civilization and progress held by the ruling elite. Thus, scale flows from the national to the local—Chihuahua, Hidalgo District, Hidalgo del Parral and Santa Bárbara towns—and back again.

Thematically this article goes from railroad boosterism to mining in Chihuahua, and finally to state and municipal efforts to forge a working class out of—what was seen as—a vice-ridden nomadic population. Using Ronald Robinson's idea of the two sets of local contracts that sustain imperialism—“one between the agents of imperialism and their intermediaries, and the other between the intermediaries and their own people” (93)—French justifies his tying of municipal laws regulating prostitutes and the sale of alcohol, or the building of clocks in town centers, to the machinations of James Dunn and his investors' syndicate in international money markets.

Author: 
Worster, Donald

Worster, Donald. "Appendix: Doing Environmental History." The Ends of the Earth: Perspectives on Modern Environmental History. Ed. Donald Worster. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Ironically, while the definition of environmental history that Worster is developing seeks to explore beyond the merely human, excluding the “social environment” (292), it is nonetheless rather anthropocentric. Whether defined as “about the role and place of nature in human life” (292) or “how humans have been affected by their natural environment through time and, conversely, how they have affected that environment,” (290-291) the extracting of humanity from nature still prevails. I suppose this is where the modifier “nonhuman”—as in “nonhuman nature”—is applied in an effort to clear things up, but even there I am not entirely convinced. Of course this issue inevitably leads to the question of whether history—or any form of symbolic representation—can ever be anything but anthropocentric.

Worster's definition also excludes “second nature,” or what he refers to as “the built or artifactual environment” (292). I am sensing that Cronon (first and second nature) and Radding (environmental and cultural history) were in a sense reacting to the limits outlined by Worster in this article.

The article itself is divided into three parts, each dedicated to a central problem faced by environmental historians. The first deals with nature (sometimes both human and nonhuman) itself and specifically the degree to which historians can benefit from the sciences in general and ecology in particular. Here Worster discusses the way an historical perspective augments ecology by emphasizing the problem of change, something entirely absent in the work of ecologist par excellence Eugene Odum and worthy of theorization. Change over time is a fundamental problem because historians and ecologists still don't know when environmental transitions become environmental damage and when damage becomes the loss of an ecosystem.

Author: 
Parr, Joy

Parr, Joy. “Notes for a More Sensuous History of Twentieth-Century Canada: The Timely, the Tacit, and the Material Body.” Canadian Historical Review, 82(4) (2001), 720-45.

Parr’s project is one of reaching a more sensuous, material historical practice. In this article, her argument takes on two facets: she begins with a case in which the sensuous approach proves useful and illuminating, a megaproject along the St. Lawrence river; then she delves into the history and theory of the practice of sensuous history.

In the first major section, Parr dissects the impact of the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the mid 1950’s town of Iroquois. She describes the imposition of this megaproject as a “reordering of the connections between sensation and perception, perception and cognition, cognition and self,” (note the emphasis on perception and not enunciation, p. 728) in which a village was relocated, it’s inhabitants’ orientation altered, their sense of place and ties to the river turned upside down, and “the habits, memories and tacit knowledge accrued over six generations of bodily relations with the river lost their anchors in the physical and social space of the village.” (723)

Author: 
Merchant, Carolyn

Merchant, Carolyn. “Shades of Darkness: Race and Environmental History.” Environmental History, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Jul., 2003), pp. 380-394.

This article draws attention to the shifting relations between race and environment in the literature on North American wilderness. It begins with some bullet points on five different perspectives through which these two subjects have been treated in the past and then goes on to discuss the way in which the discursive separation of wilderness and civilization “reads Native Americans out of wilderness.” (381) This argument is substantiated through analyses of the works of John Muir, Helen Hunt Jackson and Mary Austin.

While discussing the way blacks were portrayed in relation to environment, Merchant points out that, ironically, at the same time Muir was decrying how filthy Indians soiled pristine nature, blacks were being associated with the filth of the city, with civilization painted as dark and foreboding in works such as Robert Woods’ The City Wilderness and Booth Tarkington’s The Turmoil. Here we see a continued whitening of empty, pristine wilderness, apt for affluent tourists while at the same time civilization is increasingly characterized—in contrast to conquest narratives from Cortés to Sarmiento—as a negative racialized other.

In her treatment of the conservation movement of the early part of the twentieth century, Merchant juxtaposes Muir’s disregard for minorities in his defense of wilderness with Thoreau’s fusion of humanity into the natural world. She then posits Aldo Leopold’s ethic as a middle ground where the rights of nature eventually translate into the rights of minorities.

Author: 
Brown, Michael and Eduardo Fernández

Brown, Michael and Eduardo Fernández. War of shadows: the Struggle for Utopia in the Peruvian Amazon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Relying mostly on Lehnertz' Lands of Infidels (Univ of Wisconsin PhD Diss. 1974) and José Amich's 1771 Historia de las misiones del Convento de Santa Rosa de Ocopa, Brown and Fernández begin with an overview of Asháninka resistance since the middle part of the seventeenth century. They summarize Franciscan incursions into Gran Pagonál and the Río Perené regions and discuss instances of revolt led both by outsiders—Pedro Bohórquez Girón (1656-59) and Juan Santos Atahualpa (1742-1750s)—and Asháninka leaders—Mangoré (1670s) and Ignacio Torote (1737). In this brief overview they try and highlight Asháninka agency, as can be seen in their discussion of the cacique Mateo de Assia, who due to his own qualms with Franciscan rule was one of the first to join Juan Santos Atahualpa. Another point made in support of this argument deals with the question of why the Asháninka warmed to Juan Santos Atahualpa's project of Inca restoration. Here Brown and Fernández suggest the Asháninka openly interpreted his messianic message, adapting his version of an Incan utopia to their own struggles against the Spanish. But they also suggest that Santos Atahualpa also may have deliberately altered his message in order to more directly address Asháninka worldview and daily practices. (45-46) Ironically (and in line with Flores Galindo), it may have also been the influence of Franciscan millenarianism that helped make Santos Atahualpa's utopia seem palatable to the Asháninka.

Author: 
McNeill, J.R.

McNeill, J.R. "Observations on the Nature and Culture of Environmental History." History and Theory. 42.4 (2003): 5-43.

While readily acknowledging the dangerous of confining the vast and ever-growing body of environmental history literature to generalized categories, McNeill lays out what he sees as the three major subdivisions of environmental history: material histories (where McNeill situates himself), cultural / intellectual histories (which are the least convincing for him), and political histories (which seem to be the most palatable outside the field). I’m often uncomfortable with such groupings, but given that McNeill allows for slippage between the sub-fields, I’ll let it slide. Regarding the porous disciplinary borders vaguely separating environmental history from other academic fields (historical geography, historical ecology, climate history, disease history, etc.) McNeill seems to suggest that one of the few substantive markers of environmental history is its reliance on texts. Given the importance of fossilized pollen in Cronon, or ice layers and tree rings in Fagan, this seems to me like a flimsy attempt to carve out a sovereign niche for environmental historians when—as McNeill himself notes—the very richness of the field lies in de-territorialized, nomadic disciplinary wanderings.

Author: 
Coates, Peter

Coates, Peter. “Emerging from the Wilderness (or, from Redwoods to Bananas): Recent Environmental History in the United States and the Rest of the Americas,” Environment and History 10 (2004): pp. 407-38.

To begin with Coates discusses the sea changes ushered in by Cronon—Uncommon Ground—and White—Organic Machine. Among some of the most important achievements of those books, he lists: “a far muddier divide between the non-human and human domains; a keener awareness of how the variables of race, class and gender shape the dialogue between humans and the rest of nature; greater attention to a wider spectrum of environments, especially those of the city; closer links with the history of technology; a reduced emphasis on environmental change as synonymous with destruction and less stress on human misdeeds; and, not least, a more complicated, arguably less intimate relationship between environmental history and environmentalism.” (409)

He then examines the course of environmental history since Roderick Nash and other environmentalist historians. He underlines major developments in urban studies; linking of environmental and social histories; environmental justice; race, class and gender; and finally conservation.

For his section on “pan-American” environmental history he, naturally, starts off with Melville and Dean. He then discusses some replications of and responses to the North American frontier approaches, and the “Borderland school.” Notably, he highlights the paucity of work on such extractive pursuits as copper mining and oil drilling. However, this section is clearly hindered by the (necessary?) English-language bias influencing his selections.

On Canadian environmental history I found his observations scant and cursory, which, I suppose serves to bolster his point that despite the importance of nature and natural resources in forging Canadian history and national identity, Canadian environmental history still an emerging field.

Author: 
Cleary, David

Cleary, David. “Towards an Environmental History of the Amazon: From Prehistory to the Nineteenth Century.” Latin American Research Review Vol. 36 No. 2 (2001): pp. 65-96.

Large-scale and empirical in scope, Cleary’s intent is to take on some of the myths related to the Amazon—those of primeval nature, the Clovis model, that rubber represented the first extractive boom—and show how a focus on landscape transformation can illuminate some of the realities of Amazonian history. To this end, he complicates (but ndoes not reject) declentionist thinking, using the arrival of Europeans as the fulcrum upon which his narrative swings.

In the first major section, Cleary assures us that a broad yet comprehensive history of the Amazon is indeed possible, in fact even more so than longue dureé, region-wide tales of European or North American history, because (in a dizzying twist of logic) despite the regions vast geographical span, there are fewer sources to consult regarding the Amazon!? Temporally speaking, Cleary rather than address the problem of scale simply assures us that Amazonian history since possibly as far back as the Pleistocene can be lumped into five periods:

  1. early human occupation based on a combination of fishing and foraging;
  2. a subsequent intensification of land management over at least 10,000 years;
  3. depopulation precipitated by the arrival of Europeans and the recolonization of much of the region by secondary forest growth;
  4. an expansion of extractivism in the late nineteenth century and the reoccupation of the riverine ecosystems ... ;
  5. and a phase of unprecedentedly rapid environmental change in the postwar period ... (68)

Next he takes on the nature-culture problem, suggesting that by doing away with the notion of wilderness and instead looking at landscape formation, or the "complex interactions between humans and ecosystems," (71) we can access that point where nature coexists with culture. I don’t quite see the dissolution of any binaries here, but I don’t know if that is necessary either.

Author: 
White, Richard

White, Richard. "The Nationalization of Nature." Journal of American History. Vol. 86 No. 3 (1999): 976-986.

To begin with there is an argument for the importance of problematizing space. Based on Lefebvre’s example of the modern house, which while appearing immobile, with the walls removed is exposed as a nexus of different mobilities, White shows that space in historical analysis is a component of scale. And while that scale is often uncritically reduced to levels of the “national,” “the global,” or “the local,” it should be recognized as something that is socially produced, like Lefebvre’s space, and that “reveals some things while masking others.”

Next, while pointing out that “History as a discipline is the child of the nation-state,” (979) White begins to explore the complexities of the emerging scale of the global. In the case of environmental history, he points out, this is of particular relevance, given that the capitalist processes of extraction and commodification that often account for the most drastic alterations of environment over time are themselves the product of supranational goings on. Rather than simply advocating for a global scale, however, White acknowledges the fact that the nation-state can never entirely be escaped. Thus he looks at two ways of confronting this conundrum: George Fredrickson’s comparative approach and Ian Tyrrell’s notion of transnational history. Here White points out how even these approaches, or treatments of scale, have to be situated temporally. For instance, he notes, the transnational space of the “Atlantic world” is not coincidentally spoken of in reference to a time before the solidification of nation-states, most notably in discussions of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Author: 
Yashar, Deborah

Yashar, Deborah. Contesting Citizenship in Latin America: The Rise of Indigenous Movements and the Postliberal Challange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.



Yashar argues that the rise of indigenous movements in Latin America can be attributed to the interaction of three fundamental components: 1) the ethnic cleavages and threats to local autonomy posed by shifting citizenship regimes; 2) the existence of transcommunity networks; and 3) the availability of political associational spaces. Her analysis equally relies on the assertion that despite advocacy of local autonomy and the challenges presented by postliberal (the fusion of corporatist and neoliberal forms of interest intermediation such as those seen in the institutionalization of multiethnic and plurinational citizenship regimes) politics, the state is still a fundamental arbiter of rights and responsibilities. As such, identifying the scope and reach of the state by historicizing and spatializing the formation of indigenous movements is an undeniable requirement.


Looking in depth at Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, she demonstrates how the transition from corporatist modes of state-based interest intermediation (focused on collectives as political entities and extending social rights in addition to some political and civil rights) to neoliberal citizenship regimes (privileged unit is the individual, social rights are stripped out of state functions) posed threats to local autonomy. In this context, indigenous federations such as CONAIE (Ecuador), CSUTCB and CIDOB (Bolivia) and AIDESEP (Peru) arose where there was a confluence of transcommunity networks—in the form of schools, churches, unions, etc.—and political associational space—framework for the freedom of expression and association. Whereas these three components existed in Ecuador and Bolivia, the residual effects of corporatist efforts and the outbreak of civil strife during the '80s and '90s in Peru stifled the formation of networks and the emergence of political associational spaces in most of the country. 


Author: 
Pizarro, Ana

Pizarro, Ana. “Imaginario y discurso: La Amazonía.” Revista de crítica literaria latinomaericana Vol. 31, No. 61 (spring, 2005): pp. 59-74.

“Imaginario y discurso” presents a survey of the ways in which the Amazon has been discursively constructed since the first explorations of the sixteenth century. Pizarro divides the textual representation of the Amazon into three borad periods: 1) The period of initial exploration in which discourse was conditioned by a poetics of the fantasitc and inspired by preconfigured tropes inhereted from travellers' attempts to sell their projects to metropolitan funders and by their prior knowledge of the travel genre (Marco Polo, etc.); 2) the period characterized by “reasoned” scientific travel in which discourse was marked by attempts to categorize the unknown world; and finally 3) the period that coincides with the rubber boom, in which discourse has no prior imaginary, but instead principles are used as a benchmark to measure reality, be them capitalistic values—as is the case with Julio Arana's testimony to the British House of Commons—or humanistic ones—Walter Hardenburg.
To demonstrate these shifts in discourse Pizarro resorts to a brief analysis of a few exemplary texts from each period:

Author: 
Taussig, Michael

Taussig, Michael. “Culture of Terror—Space of Death: Roger Casement’s Putumayo Report and the Explanation of Torture.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 26 (1984): pp. 467-497.

Taussig begins by describing the space of death as a broad, liminal space that can be seen as a threshold between oppositions: it is where hope fades to death, where victimiser needs victim, where myth is made into truth, and where an inability to comprehend becomes understanding (469). Ultimately, it is that space where the culture of the conqueror is bound to that of the conquered. (468) Yet, as the space of death is a space of cultural encounter, Taussig places urgency on creating a subversive cultural politics, which he sees as something achieved through a poetics of counterdiscourse.

To theorize the space of death, Taussig draws from Foucault's injunction to see “historically how effects of truth are produced within discourses which are in themselves neither true nor false” (from Power/Knowledge  p. 118) and subordinates it to Benjamin's idea of the dialectical intertwinement of the mysterious and the mundane. (469) Warning about the danger of aestheticizing horror in the search for a powerful and effective counterdiscourse, he emphasizes the need for a poetics that engages violence dialectically, without trivializing it. In a riff off of Frederick Karl's description of Heart of Darkness, Taussig suggests that such a poetics of counterdiscourse would be able "to penetrate the veil while retaining its hallucinatory quality." (471)

Author: 
Sundberg, Juanita

Sundberg, Juanita. "Tracing Race: Mapping Environmental Formations in Environmental Justice Research in Latin America." In Environmental Justice in Latin America. Carruthers, David, ed. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008, pp. 25-48.

Opening with Dulitzky's contention that Latin America is a region in denial when it comes to racism, Sundberg proposes that the experience of race may not only condition opportunities for social mobility (as Dulitizky argues) but that it is a significant factor in issues of environmental justice, as well. Based on this premise, Sundberg sets out to "provoke new questions about the ways in which exclusionary discourses and practices work in and through the environment", as well as "how they are naturalized, and come to appear justifiable and indeed necessary." (26)

To critically address the ties between constructions of race and environment she suggests that ethnic and geographical categories be deconstructed in a manner that reveals the historical processes through which they come into being. This means identifying the legal frameworks, the social and geographical situations, and the environmental formations (33) that are at play in the process of, for example, identifying who may access natural resources, or how land titles are distributed.

She then goes on to outline some examples of the meeting of racial and environmental formations throughout Latin American history, starting with the colonial period, then early independence, the nation building periods, and finally the mid-to late-twentieth century. In each case, she provides examples of work that engages with both race and environment as critical frameworks, and suggests possible avenues for further investigation.

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sundberg_race.pdf 6.06 MB
Author: 
Belaúnde Terry, Fernando

Belaúnde Terry, Fernando, “La revolución del crédito” in La conquista del Perú por los peruanos, (Lima: Ediciones Tawantinsuyu, 1959)

“La revolución del crédito” poses itself the problem of how to democratize credit. As an essential component of the AP platform, making capital available to small farmers (colonists) and middle-class soon-to-be homeowners it is argued will not only help the middle class, but through the AP economic doctrine of “economic miscegenation” it will also help develop crucial infrastructure, thereby facilitating other economic activities, such as extractive pursuits in the ceja de selva.

The first issue to take on, however, is how to deal with borrowers that cannot offer any collateral, as would be the case with most Serrano colonists. Historically the nations savings were used by the aristocracy as capital for further investment since they were the only ones with enough collateral—real estate, businesses, etc.— to get loans. In order to remedy the circular flow of capital in the upper echelon of Peruvian society, Belaúnde proposes putting up social insurance funds as collateral for all. In a precursor to titan pension fund investment firms like Calpers, Belaúnde suggests that the banker-governors that have ruled Peru (read as Odría) be put out to pasture.

In an alarming reminder of when Belaúnde was writing, he also argues that the state should take further advantage of the under-exploited IFI lending regimes. He suggests that institutions such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the EXIMBANK and the Fondo para Empréstitos de Fomento (in English?) represent beneficial alternatives to the traditional role of imperialist lending firms and that they should be taken advantage of. Lastly, he even argues that Lima would make the most logical headquarters for the newly formed Inter-American Development Bank.

Author: 
Belaúnde Terry, Fernando

Belaúnde Terry, Fernando, “Colonización vial” in La conquista del Perú por los peruanos, (Lima: Ediciones Tawantinsuyu, 1959)

Road colonization will balance the man-land relation, according to Beláunde. This assertion is based on one central point: that with the continual rise in population along the coast and in the foothills, there will be an evermore crucial need to increase the amount of land that can be cultivated. To solve this problem there are several options.

First off, he acknowledges that many industrial nations maintain colonial empires to this end. In Peru, one gets the sense that this is precisely what Belaúnde would like to do, for the other option—increasing irrigation schemes on the coast—is shown to be far more costly than the option of colonizing the ceja de selva. Such a colonization represents a revolution in infrastructure planning, “a new road philosophy.” (94) Whereas the objective of prior road schemes was to connect cities by way of the shortest distance possible, Belaúnde’s road colonization takes an entirely new look at road construction.

Tags: 
Author: 
Belaunde Terry, Fernando and Francisco

Belaunde Terry, Fernando and Francisco. “Idearium Peruano.” Journal of Inter-American Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jul., 1962), pp. 421-425.

To begin with, the editors open this collection of writings with a brief note on their own experience of the June 10, 1962 elections in Peru: completely fair and free of any fraud from their perspective. Given that what follows are writings by both Fernando and Francisco Belaúnde Terry (brothers), there is some confusion as to who wrote what, and the editors don’t make it very clear. The collection is divided into three sections: “Conquistadores y Conquistados,” “Cultura Criollística y Cultura Indígena”—both of which I believe come from a manuscript by Francisco Belaúnde—and lastly, “La Diplomacia del Crédito,” written by Fernando Belaúnde and published in El Comercio, Feb 18, 1962.

Conquistadores y Conquistados
Environmental determinism is again the primary motor driving Belaúnde’s argument. To demonstrate Peru’s unique cultural milieu, he posits that conqueror-conquered contact was conditioned by altitude across Spanish America. Thus, in the case of Mexico, where he suggests there is only one “fundamental habitat”—the meseta—a heightened process of cultural homogenization took and is taking place. In Bolivia, where the Altiplano is the only “fundamental habitat,” the situation is reversed; high altitudes strengthened cultural stratafication, and “the precolombian race has maintained its pristine purity under a superficial European bark.” (422) In Peru, however, Belaúnde suggests two “fundamental habitats,” the coast and the sierra, have resulted in a tripartite cultural heterogeneity. Given the varying heights of Peruvian topography, then, three ethnic categories have emerged: one of a “spaniloide” cultural-linguistic nature; one that is “basically indigenous”—that is Quechua- or Aymara-speaking—(ibid); and one, inhabiting that space where subjects from both other camps gravitate to, simply referred to as the “mestizo—or cholo—stratum.” (423)

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