The Pursuit of Ruins
280 pages, 6 x 9
23 halftones, 3 maps
Release Date:15 Oct 2016
Release Date:15 Oct 2016
$119.00 Back Order
Ships in 4-6 weeks.

The Pursuit of Ruins

Archaeology, History, and the Making of Modern Mexico

University of New Mexico Press

Winner of the Michael C. Meyer Award from the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies

2016-2017 Alfred B. Thomas Award Honorable Mention from the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies

2017 Annual Book Award Honorable Mention from the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

Famous for its majestic ruins, Mexico has gone to great lengths to preserve and display the remains of its pre-Hispanic past. The Pursuit of Ruins argues that the government effort to take control of the ancient remains took off in the late nineteenth century during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Under Díaz Mexico acquired an official history more firmly rooted in Indian antiquity. This prestigious pedigree served to counter Mexico's image as a backward, peripheral nation. The government claimed symbolic links with the great civilizations of pre-Hispanic times as it hauled statues to the National Museum and reconstructed Teotihuacán. Christina Bueno explores the different facets of the Porfirian archaeological project and underscores the contradictory place of indigenous identity in modern Mexico. While the making of Mexico's official past was thought to bind the nation together, it was an exclusionary process, one that celebrated the civilizations of bygone times while disparaging contemporary Indians.

The book is beautifully written, never lacking narrative thrust, and always engaging.'--Bulletin of Latin American Research
Bueno's book is an important contribution to the history of science and to cultural history by making a case for the centrality of non-professionals and amateurs, like Batres and his collaborators, to the very shaping of scientific ideas.'--Journal of Latin American Studies
Bueno has given voice to both Leopoldo Batres and the local people who opposed him, and she has admirably contextualized their daily struggles within the greater Porfirian nationalist project'--Hispanic American Historical Review
Not only does it bring to light rich archival material, but it also describes, with an enjoyable and fluid narrative, the complex network of actors and practices that constituted Mexican archaeology during this period. . . . This superb and entertaining study adds a nuanced perspective to existing studies of archaeology and nationalism.'--New Mexico Historical Review
A fascinating look at the formative years of Mexican archaeology and the Porfirian regime's efforts to bring order and progress to the nation's indigenous patrimony.'--Robert M. Buffington, coauthor of Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History
Christina Bueno is an associate professor of Latin American history and Latinoâ€"Latin American studies at Northeastern Illinois University.
Find what you’re looking for...
Free shipping on Canadian orders over $40.
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.

Read past newsletters
Current Catalogue
Fall 2021 catalogue cover with a gradient background
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.