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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7554versión impresa ISSN 0185-3929


BRENSCHEIDT GEN.JOST, Diana. Body and Music in Ignaz Pfefferkorn’s Description of Sonora. Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2018, vol.39, n.156, pp.227-255. ISSN 2448-7554.

This article adopts an interdisciplinary approach, setting out from the analysis of a Jesuit text published in the 18th century: Ignaz Pfefferkorn’s Description of the province of Sonora. Written in the formal scheme of a natural history, the text serves as a reference for research on descriptions and categorizations of the body and, in a next step, embodied or performative practices among indigenous habitants of northwestern New Spain. I argue that Pfefferkorn’s, generally benevolent observations of indigenous bodies must be seen in light of 18th-century discourses on the body as a changeable category influenced by humoral and hygienic, as well as civilizational thinking. In a final step that includes references to Foucault, the essay focuses on the specific role that music and related performative practices closely-associated with the body play in disciplining bodies, thus emphasizing the specific place of music in the codified system of cultural contact on colonial missions.

Palabras llave : body; music; natural history; performative practices; Ignaz Pfefferkorn.

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