Author

Ramiz Shaikh

Date of Award

2013

First Advisor

Mileta Roe

Second Advisor

Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Abstract

This thesis studies the historical and thematic oppression of indigenous culture in the 1958 novel Los ríos profundos (Deep Rivers) by Peruvian writer and anthropologist José María Arguedas, in the contested concept of mestizaje, and in the continuing struggle over land rights in Peru. Writing from inside the indigenous culture and worldview, Arguedas traced the cultural conflict between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian highlands. Complex identities and perceptions arose, including the ever-changing notion of mestizaje or mixed blood. Arguedas’ attachment to his originary culture and his later commitment to promote that culture made him one of the most influential writers in twentieth-century Peru; his ideas continue to prove relevant in the examination of recent developments regarding land reform and indigenous rights.

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