A Total Site of Hegemony: Monumental Materiality at Teotihuacan, Mexico

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194188
Title:
A Total Site of Hegemony: Monumental Materiality at Teotihuacan, Mexico
Author:
Newell, Gillian Elisabeth
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation addresses the complex status of Teotihuacan, officially demarcated as a "zone of archaeological monuments," at the center of Mexico, which is a pluralistic nation-state. Located 40 kilometers from the modern capital, its largest pyramid, the Pyramid of the Sun, was built almost 2,000 years ago. Attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, it is not only an important source of revenue but also a powerful symbol of Mexican national identity and immense historical pride. Leaving this site's prehistoric origins and significance for archaeologists to sort out, this thesis focuses on its position near the core of the political system and its role in articulating and commemorating national identity. By examining how the site has survived through history, how it has been represented, and how people interact with the site and at its premises, this thesis elaborates on the extent to which Teotihuacan should be conceived specifically as a nation-state formation place and on what other factors have shaped the place in its current form. The diversity that is revealed by this examination indicates, moreover, that the nation-state formation paradigm focuses too narrowly on ideological connotations, and fails to acknowledge some of the underlying aspects of materiality that form the site as well. The case-study examines the diverse ways in which meaning is constructed at Teotihuacan and proposes to study Teotihuacan as a 'total site.' Taking after French anthropologist Marcel Mauss's `total social phenomenon,' the `total site' concept describes a place that features diversely in the collective imagination and must be understood as such, and is used to integrate a variety of perspectives that relate to and give meaning to Teotihuacan as a diverse place. Serving as a heuristic device to characterize the complexity of Teotihuacan, the term captures both material and ideological aspects. This discussion, finally, exposes Mexico as a country with a strong nation-state formation tradition, but suggests that there is more to Mexico than that nation-state formation agenda.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
hegemony; materiality; patrimony; representation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Hill, Jane H.; Inomata, Takeshi

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleA Total Site of Hegemony: Monumental Materiality at Teotihuacan, Mexicoen_US
dc.creatorNewell, Gillian Elisabethen_US
dc.contributor.authorNewell, Gillian Elisabethen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation addresses the complex status of Teotihuacan, officially demarcated as a "zone of archaeological monuments," at the center of Mexico, which is a pluralistic nation-state. Located 40 kilometers from the modern capital, its largest pyramid, the Pyramid of the Sun, was built almost 2,000 years ago. Attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, it is not only an important source of revenue but also a powerful symbol of Mexican national identity and immense historical pride. Leaving this site's prehistoric origins and significance for archaeologists to sort out, this thesis focuses on its position near the core of the political system and its role in articulating and commemorating national identity. By examining how the site has survived through history, how it has been represented, and how people interact with the site and at its premises, this thesis elaborates on the extent to which Teotihuacan should be conceived specifically as a nation-state formation place and on what other factors have shaped the place in its current form. The diversity that is revealed by this examination indicates, moreover, that the nation-state formation paradigm focuses too narrowly on ideological connotations, and fails to acknowledge some of the underlying aspects of materiality that form the site as well. The case-study examines the diverse ways in which meaning is constructed at Teotihuacan and proposes to study Teotihuacan as a 'total site.' Taking after French anthropologist Marcel Mauss's `total social phenomenon,' the `total site' concept describes a place that features diversely in the collective imagination and must be understood as such, and is used to integrate a variety of perspectives that relate to and give meaning to Teotihuacan as a diverse place. Serving as a heuristic device to characterize the complexity of Teotihuacan, the term captures both material and ideological aspects. This discussion, finally, exposes Mexico as a country with a strong nation-state formation tradition, but suggests that there is more to Mexico than that nation-state formation agenda.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjecthegemonyen_US
dc.subjectmaterialityen_US
dc.subjectpatrimonyen_US
dc.subjectrepresentationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairHill, Jane H.en_US
dc.contributor.chairInomata, Takeshien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLansing, J. Stevenen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10584en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752325en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.