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Raymond B. Craib

Professor

Mcgraw Hall, Room 309
rbc23@cornell.edu
607-255-6745

Website(s)

Overview

My research and teaching interests are eclectic although focused primarily on the modern histories of Mexico and Chile. My first book, Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes (Duke Univ. Press, 2004; Spanish translation, 2014), examined the cartographic routines (exploration, surveying, and mapping) that helped forge the Mexican state in the 19th and 20th centuries. The book is part of a broader interest I have in geography, the history of cartography, and spatial theory more generally.

My second book, The Cry of the Renegade: Politics and Poetry in Interwar Chile, was published by Oxford Univ. Press in 2016 (a Spanish translation is forthcoming). Here is a description of the book:

On October 1, 1920, the city of Santiago, Chile, came to a halt as tens of thousands stopped work and their daily activities to join the funeral procession of José Domingo Gómez Rojas, a 24 year old university student and acclaimed poet. Nicknamed "the firecracker poet" for his incendiary poems, such as "The Cry of the Renegade" Gómez Rojas was a member of the University of Chile's student federation (the FECh) which had come under repeated attack for its critiques of Chile's political system and ruling parties. Government officials accused the FECh's leaders of being advocates for the destruction of the social order, subversives who had the temerity to question national policy making, and insolent youths who did not know their place. Arrested for alleged sedition as part of a five-month-long "prosecution of subversives," Gómez Rojas joined other students and workers in Santiago's prison system. He never left. After two months in police custody, he died in Santiago's asylum, quickly to be reborn as a political martyr for students and workers alike.

This microhistory recovers the context within which Gómez Rojas's arrest, imprisonment, and death unfolded and the experiences of men he counted as friends, comrades, colleagues, mentors, and pupils. Fifty years before the much-heralded student movements of 1968, Raymond Craib shows, university students and workers were active political collaborators and radicalized political subjects. In interwar Chile, members of Chile's sizeable working class marched side-by-side with students from the FECh. At the same time, increasingly radicalized university students, as well as former students, workers, and worker-intellectuals, gathered together to talk, read, and find common cause. Members of what Craib calls a "capacious Left" they shared a wide-ranging interest in works of sociology and political theory, a penchant for poetry, and an eclectic embrace of anarchist, socialist, and communist principles and practices. They also shared the experience of repression, an experience that ultimately cost Gómez Rojas his life and marked an entire generation of political organizers and agitators, including future president Salvador Allende and poet Pablo Neruda.

My interests in anarchism and communism--as well as the movement of ideas--led me to coordinate, along with my colleague Barry Maxwell, a conference and subsequent volume:  No Gods No Masters No Peripheries:  Global Anarchisms (PM Press, 2015).

I am currently researching and writing on right-wing libertarian 'escape geographies,' particularly post-1945. This work looks at the long lineage of anarcho-capitalist thinking that has come back to the fore in recent years with the rise of Silicon Valley opt-out culture, sea-steading, charter cities and privatized space travel.

 

Fall 2016 Course Syllabi:

HIST 3060 Modern Mexico: A Global History

Departments/Programs

  • History
  • Latina/o Studies Program

Graduate Fields

  • History
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latino Studies

Research

Three main research interests:  geography/cartography; the left (particularly anarchism); theory and history