Mestizo: a person of mixed blood; specifically, a person of mixed European and American Indian ancestry.
Serge Gruzinski, the renowned historian of Latin America, offers a brilliant, original critique of colonization and globalization in The Mestizo Mind. Looking at the fifteenth-century colonization of Latin America, Gruzinski documents the mélange that resulted: colonized mating with colonizers; Indians joining the Catholic Church and colonial government; and Amerindian visualizations of Jesus and Perseus. These physical and cultural encounters created a new culture, a new individual, and a phenomenon we now call globalization. Revealing globalization's early origins, Gruzinski then fast forwards to the contemporary mélange seen in the films of Peter Greenaway and Wong Kar-Wai to argue that over 500 years of intermingling has produced the mestizo mind, a state of mixed thinking that we all possess.
A masterful alchemy of history, anthropology, philosophy and visual analysis, The Mestizo Mind definitively conceptualizes the clash of civilizations in the style of Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak and Anne McClintock.
Serge Gruzinski lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and is research director of EHESS's Empire/Society/Nations research center. He is recently the author of Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner and The Conquest of Mexico.
"Gruzinski, one of the most imaginative historians of Latin America writing today, has produced a provocative book that demonstrates that globalization is neither a new phenomenon nor one that has ever been uncontested. This is essential reading about the history and forms of hybridity and about its future as well." -- Stuart Schwartz, Yale University
"The Mestizo Mind is an original study of indigenous writers and painters in 16th century colonial Mexico. Speaking to historians, literary scholars, philosophers, and the general reader, Gruzinski traces the creativity of what he calls the 'mestizo mind' in a wide range of artifacts from church murals and grotesques to maps, books, and songs. Deke Dusinberre's translation reproduces the clarity and brilliance of the original French." -- José Rabasa, University of California, Berkeley
"An imaginative scholar and gifted writer, Gruzinski goes beyond making the sixteenth century accessible: he makes it hip. This is the kind of book professors will find their students have read before they do." -- American Historical Review