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Forging People

Forging People

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic American and Latino/a Thought

Edited by Jorge J. E. Gracia

Forging People explores the way in which Hispanic American thinkers in Latin America and Latino/a philosophers in the United States have posed and thought about questions of race, ethnicity, and nationality, and how they have interpreted the most significant racial and ethnic labels used in Hispanic America in connection with issues of rights, nationalism, power, and identity. Following the first introductory chapter, each of the essays addresses one or more influential thinkers, ranging from Bartolomé de Las Casas on race and the rights of Amerindians; to Simon Bolívar’s struggle with questions of how to forge a nation from disparate populations; to modern and contemporary thinkers on issues of race, unity, assimilation, and diversity. Each essay carefully and clearly presents the views of key authors in their historical and philosophical context and provides brief biographical sketches and reading lists, as aids to students and other readers.

Forging People is an indispensable resource for anyone who works, teaches, or is interested in the thought, history, and social situation of Latin America and the views of Latinos residing in the United States.

Contributors: José Antonio Aguilar Rivera, Janet Burke, Jorge J. E. Gracia, Ted Humphrey, Iván Jaksic, Renzo Llorente, Oscar R. Martí, Elizabeth Millán-Zaibert, Amy A. Oliver, Arleen Salles, Ofelia Schutte, Ernesto Rosen Velásquez, and Diego von Vacano.

“Latin American philosophy has a long history of engagement with issues of race, ethnicity, and nationality. To date, however, there has been no volume that focused on the contributions of the major figures in the Latin American tradition, to illustrate their connections, and to illuminate the context in which much of their work occurred. This volume fills that gap and takes an important step in remedying this shortcoming in the existing philosophical literature, and also in the literature of related fields such as Latin American studies, ethnic studies, and the cross-disciplinary work of race, ethnicity, and nationality.” — Manuel Vargas, University of San Francisco

“Jorge J. E. Gracia has brought together a stellar inter-American group of scholars to provide us with a sweeping but also incisive and original overview of how Latin Americans have simultaneously invented and dismantled the categories of race, ethnicity, and nation. This is an outstanding anthology, full of scholarly gems, which is also eminently useful.” — Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University

“This is an excellent collection of cutting edge scholarship, useful both as an introduction to the major debates as well as current thinking. The topic of race, so much of interest now in Latin American studies, is especially well-covered here.” — Linda Martín Alcoff, Hunter College

ISBN: 978-0-268-02982-1
376 pages
Publication Year: 2011

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Jorge J. E. Gracia holds the Samuel P. Capen Chair and is State University of New York Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo.

“Forging People is both a fascinating and scholarly examination of the philosophical underpinnings of race, ethnicity and nationality in the formation of Hispanic/Latino identity . . . . This stimulating work, which includes a section on the life and works of each writer, copious notes at the end of chapters, a wide-ranging bibliography for further research, and an extensive index, will contribute greatly to the current national dialogue regarding the identity of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.” — Catholic Library World

“This new anthology focuses on how some of the most prominent Latin American thinkers, from the Spanish conquest to the twenty-first century, contributed to the development and forging of the various Hispanic/Latino/a identities. Most of the thirteen contributors are philosophers, but the book is well suited for interdisciplinary studies.” — Choice

“Readers familiar with Latin American history will find this a valuable collection. It is an effective overview of how pre-eminent thinkers comprehended Hispanic America’s great diversity. It ably frames their elite versions of solidarity—and the intellectual efforts they undertook to surmount the barriers these faced—within and beyond national frontiers.” — Journal of American Ethnic History

“This book seeks to fill a void in discussions of race in which U.S. thinkers predominate. . . . It facilitates further research with a summary of the life and work of each thinker, as suggested by the list of further reading material that accompanies each chapter.” — Bulletin of Latin American Research

“Aimed largely at the US undergraduate market, this collection reviews the attitudes towards race (and, in the case of post-independence writers, national identity) articulated by some important Latin American pensadores . . . . It provides a useful teaching resource for lecturers who want to familiarize their students with the writings on race and national identity of some major Spanish American thinkers.” — Journal of Latin American Studies

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Forging People

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic American and Latino/a Thought


Edited by Jorge J. E. Gracia

 Forging People: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic American and Latino/a Thought
Paper Edition

Forging People explores the way in which Hispanic American thinkers in Latin America and Latino/a philosophers in the United States have posed and thought about questions of race, ethnicity, and nationality, and how they have interpreted the most significant racial and ethnic labels used in Hispanic America in connection with issues of rights, nationalism, power, and identity. Following the first introductory chapter, each of the essays addresses one or more influential thinkers, ranging from Bartolomé de Las Casas on race and the rights of Amerindians; to Simon Bolívar’s struggle with questions of how to forge a nation from disparate populations; to modern and contemporary thinkers on issues of race, unity, assimilation, and diversity. Each essay carefully and clearly presents the views of key authors in their historical and philosophical context and provides brief biographical sketches and reading lists, as aids to students and other readers.

Forging People is an indispensable resource for anyone who works, teaches, or is interested in the thought, history, and social situation of Latin America and the views of Latinos residing in the United States.

Contributors: José Antonio Aguilar Rivera, Janet Burke, Jorge J. E. Gracia, Ted Humphrey, Iván Jaksic, Renzo Llorente, Oscar R. Martí, Elizabeth Millán-Zaibert, Amy A. Oliver, Arleen Salles, Ofelia Schutte, Ernesto Rosen Velásquez, and Diego von Vacano.

“Latin American philosophy has a long history of engagement with issues of race, ethnicity, and nationality. To date, however, there has been no volume that focused on the contributions of the major figures in the Latin American tradition, to illustrate their connections, and to illuminate the context in which much of their work occurred. This volume fills that gap and takes an important step in remedying this shortcoming in the existing philosophical literature, and also in the literature of related fields such as Latin American studies, ethnic studies, and the cross-disciplinary work of race, ethnicity, and nationality.” — Manuel Vargas, University of San Francisco

“Jorge J. E. Gracia has brought together a stellar inter-American group of scholars to provide us with a sweeping but also incisive and original overview of how Latin Americans have simultaneously invented and dismantled the categories of race, ethnicity, and nation. This is an outstanding anthology, full of scholarly gems, which is also eminently useful.” — Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University

“This is an excellent collection of cutting edge scholarship, useful both as an introduction to the major debates as well as current thinking. The topic of race, so much of interest now in Latin American studies, is especially well-covered here.” — Linda Martín Alcoff, Hunter College

ISBN: 978-0-268-02982-1

376 pages

“Forging People is both a fascinating and scholarly examination of the philosophical underpinnings of race, ethnicity and nationality in the formation of Hispanic/Latino identity . . . . This stimulating work, which includes a section on the life and works of each writer, copious notes at the end of chapters, a wide-ranging bibliography for further research, and an extensive index, will contribute greatly to the current national dialogue regarding the identity of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.” — Catholic Library World

“This new anthology focuses on how some of the most prominent Latin American thinkers, from the Spanish conquest to the twenty-first century, contributed to the development and forging of the various Hispanic/Latino/a identities. Most of the thirteen contributors are philosophers, but the book is well suited for interdisciplinary studies.” — Choice

“Readers familiar with Latin American history will find this a valuable collection. It is an effective overview of how pre-eminent thinkers comprehended Hispanic America’s great diversity. It ably frames their elite versions of solidarity—and the intellectual efforts they undertook to surmount the barriers these faced—within and beyond national frontiers.” — Journal of American Ethnic History

“This book seeks to fill a void in discussions of race in which U.S. thinkers predominate. . . . It facilitates further research with a summary of the life and work of each thinker, as suggested by the list of further reading material that accompanies each chapter.” — Bulletin of Latin American Research

“Aimed largely at the US undergraduate market, this collection reviews the attitudes towards race (and, in the case of post-independence writers, national identity) articulated by some important Latin American pensadores . . . . It provides a useful teaching resource for lecturers who want to familiarize their students with the writings on race and national identity of some major Spanish American thinkers.” — Journal of Latin American Studies

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