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ERIC Number: EJ947007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Between Exoticism and Universalism: Educational Sections in Latin American Participation at International Exhibitions, 1860-1900
Dussel, Ines
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v47 n5 p601-617 2011
International exhibitions provide a good arena in which to study the circulation and transfer of educational ideas and practices in the second half of the nineteenth century. Structured around themes of industry, progress, and civilisation, and defined as ephemeral museums of the new world of commodities for the consumption of the masses, they organised an economic, visual, and political order that was closely linked to the desires of European imperialism. However tempting it is to see them as unidirectional impositions of the colonial centres on peripheral countries, the history of these exhibits is much more complex and intricate than a one-way transfer. The analysis of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico's participation in the world fairs that took place between 1867 and 1900 shows that there were many negotiations and rewritings of these narratives at the national level. I will claim that Latin American countries had to deal with the tensions that emerged out of conflicting demands: on the one hand, they wanted to be considered civilised and progressive, which meant looking as European as possible, and on the other hand and simultaneously, their place was that of peripheral nations, often close to the colonial pavilions, and forced to display some exoticism and originality to satisfy the demands of the mass spectacle. It is interesting to note that each country produced its own response to these contradictory requests. A further claim made in this article is that these tensions were particularly felt in the educational sections, which tended to assume global forms but also had to show a degree of peculiarity. Finally, it can be concluded that one of the most important effects of the world fairs in national educational systems was not so much the import of ideas and technologies but the production of national narratives on the development of schooling and of legitimising discourses for its expansion in these countries. (Contains 96 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Argentina; Brazil; Mexico