September 23rd, 2021 (14:00 - 15:30 Boston | 13:00 - 14:30 CDMX | 20:00 - 21:30 Madrid)
The Observatorio Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University, the Consulate General of Mexico in Boston and the Center for Mexican Studies UNAM-Bostoncommemorate the bicentennial of the consummation of Mexican Independence with the collaboration of three experts from both sides of the Atlantic, who will address the construction of a collective memory about the “War of Independence.” Using publications from the period, José Montelongo will focus on indigenous heritage as an element of criollo patriotism and on how the pantheon of national heroes was first imagined. Manuel Chust will analyze how the 1820s, a decade of independences, was a turning point for Spain and the Americas; particularly significant for Mexico and Central America, 1821 will be examined in the context of the liberal revolutions of the decade while considering internal factors stemming from the previous decade. Tomás Pérez Vejo will address the contradictions surrounding the whole process in early independent Mexico, reflected in two commemorations throughout the 19th century–for Hidalgo in 1810 and for Iturbide in 1821–and how Independence brought on a dispute over history and over memory, which constitutes a key element of political life in contemporary Mexico: the conflict between two alternative visions for the nation.
Montelongo is the Maury A. Bromsen Curator of Latin American Books at the John Carter Brown Library of Brown University; he has worked as librarian of Mexican materials at the Benson Latin American Collection of the University of Texas, Austin, where he also headed collection development. Chust is full professor of Contemporary History at Universitat Jaume I and international corresponding member of the Academia Mexicana de la Historia; he is an expert on Ibero-American independence movements, especially Mexico’s, on which he has published widely and from different perspectives. Pérez Vejo is professor and researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México and is considered one of the greatest experts in the study of nationalism, national narratives, and Spanish-Mexican relations. He has been awarded the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel La Católica and the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca.