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Geographies of Philological KnowledgePostcoloniality and the Transatlantic National Epic$
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Nadia R. Altschul

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226016214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226016191.001.0001

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Taken for Indians: “Native” Philology and Creole Culture Wars

Taken for Indians: “Native” Philology and Creole Culture Wars

(p.57) 2 Taken for Indians: “Native” Philology and Creole Culture Wars
Geographies of Philological Knowledge

Nadia R. Altschul

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the foundation of the first “philological institute” in a Spanish American former colony, the Chilean Pedagogical Institute (Instituto Pedagógico), created by governmental decree very close in time to the spread of German philological standards across Europe and North America. It examines in particular the contemporary critique of Chile's educational and philological “colonization” by German-trained pedagogues in the writings of Valentín Letelier and Eduardo de la Barra, and highlights how, to criollos such as de la Barra, this neocolonial situation evidenced distressing associations between Chileans and Amerindians. In Spanish America, there is a long history of criollo appropriations of Amerindian identity, as well as of European colonialist equivalences between Amerindians, creoles, and even European-born settlers. The globalized discourse of medieval philology opened mimetic opportunities for peripheral locations to speak the languages needed to become participating members of privileged scholarly circles. The lack of discussion of neocolonization is, in fact, one of the main problems that Latin Americanists working in nineteenth century studies find in postcolonial criticism.

Keywords:   philological modernity, medieval philology, neocolonization, neocolonization, Occidentalism

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