Gabriela Spears-Rico

Chicano and Latino Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Twin Cities

Award Year
University Award
McKnight Land-Grant Professorship
Research Title
Mestizo Melancholia and the Legacy of Conquest in Michoacán
No Monument Location

Mestiza/o Melancholia reframes how constructions of indigeneity and mestizaje are understood in Mexico. Melancholia manifests in mixed race anxieties that mestizos project onto indigenous people. Mestizos mourn the ‘decimation’ of indigeneity caused by the ‘change/progress’ happening to indigenous people and confusion with their own indigenous identities. Utilizing semi-structured interviews as method and performance studies as a lens, I analyze mestizo-indigenous interactions at prominent events to understand how power relations and cultural appropriations inform mestiza/o identity.