Whiteness and the Ideal of Modern Mexican Citizenship in Tepeyac (1917)

While cosmopolitanism in silent Mexican film has been accurately explained as mimesis of European and US models, this article examines the implications of one aspect of the cosmopolitan aesthetic, the dominance of whiteness, for the film’s representation of Mexican national identity. We analyse the film Tepeyac (1917) in order to illustrate how its portrayal of ideal Mexican citizenship through the privileging of whiteness is tied to dynamics rooted in coloniality, eurocentrism, and the local racial formation. In this way, the article suggests that an analysis of Tepeyac can form part of a larger discussion regarding the dominance of whiteness in Mexican film as a local phenomenon that is related, but not identical to, the privileging of whiteness in Hollywood.

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Keywords: race, whiteness, nationalism, Mexico, Tepeyac

ISSN: 2469-0767



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