This paper explores the intersections between Carlos Castaneda’s work on shamanism, indigenismo, and larger changes within the field of anthropology from the 1960s to 1980s. Castaneda introduced a large readership to Mexico at a time when the Americas saw pronounced socio-political and cultural changes. Despite criticism by fellow anthropologists, Castaneda's bestselling books became instrumental in constructing new indigenous identities, a magical Mexico, and new directions in anthropology. This paper seeks to understand Castaneda within a larger historical context of the historical trajectories of indigenismo and changes in gender and race identity politics both in Mexico and the U.S. due to popular movements such as the counterculture, sexual revolution, feminism, the Chicano movement and Leftist guerrilla struggles. The paper analyzes this popularized "indigenismo from below" and assesses the political implications of Castaneda’s work as anthropology both in Mexico and the U.S.
- Carlos Castaneda,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ageeth_sluis/14/