Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist
From Netzahualcóyotl to Aztlán
In each chapter, Vélez-Ibáñez revisits a critical piece of his written work, providing a new introduction and discussion of ideas, sources, and influences for the piece. These are followed by the work, chosen because it accentuates key aspects of his development and formation as an anthropologist. By returning to these previously published works, Vélez-Ibáñez offers insight not only into the evolution of his own thinking and conceptualization but also into changes in the fields in which he has been so influential. Throughout his career, Vélez-Ibáñez has addressed why he does the work that he does, and in this volume he continues to address the personal and intellectual drives that have brought him from Netzahualcóyotl to Aztlán.
Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist shows how both Vélez-Ibáñez and anthropology have changed and formed over a fifty-year period. Throughout, he has worked to understand how people survive and thrive against all odds. Vélez-Ibáñez has been guided by the burning desire to understand inequality, exploitation, and legitimacy, and, most importantly, to provide platforms for the voiceless to narrate their own histories.
“Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez has given us a collection of valuable writings and an intellectual autobiography enriched by wisdom earned over a lifetime of inventive scholarship and institution building across disciplines and borders. Velez-Ibanez’s long intellectual pilgrimage is marked by battles that, won or lost, have made subsequent generations of scholars who they are. We can be deeply grateful to him for explaining this inheritance and pointing the way for others to embark on journeys where his footsteps leave off.”—Casey Walsh, author of Virtuous Waters: Mineral Springs, Bathing, and Infrastructure in Mexico