The Project of A People: José Vasconcelos on Race and NationalismManuel Vargas (University of California, San Diego)
College of Education Room 114
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino 92407
Abstract: One of the central challenges for modern nation states is how to enable large scale social cooperation in a way that avoids the dangers of nationalism but that is more broadly motivating than cosmopolitan neutrality about cultural differences. In the early 20th century, the Mexican philosopher José Vasconcelos offered an intriguing answer to this dilemma. His approach was rooted in ideals of race mixing and a kind of aesthetic utopianism. This talk outlines some underappreciated features of Vasconcelos’ account, and some of the ways in which his project has resources for addressing recently resurgent forms of nationalism.
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