El difícil camino hacia la Independencia: los desafíos de la emancipación política y del compromiso periodístico en México
(pp. 23-69; DOI: 10.23692/Articulos_iMex1.1_2)

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Prof. Dr. Frank Leinen

Frank Leinen has been working as a professor for Romance literary studies at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf since 1999. In 1990, he completed his PhD at the University of Trier, the same university he also received his habilitation in Romance philology from in 1998. Within his general interests in Latin American studies, he especially focuses on the field of Mexican studies and particularly on the discussion of cultural theoretical and cultural philosophical questions, as well as the study of 19th-century literature, contemporary literature and popular fiction.

In the field of Spanish philology, he is mainly dedicated to the analysis of writing under the threat of censorship. His most recent studies in French and Spanish literature, as well as contemporary film, focus above all on intercultural hermeneutics, post-colonialism and the topic of transcultural processes. The experimental French and Belgian comics represent another thematic priority in his work. Frank Leinen has been awarded several prizes in the field of research. In addition to the essays in the study areas mentioned above, the following have been published: “Flaubert and the commonplace. Manifestations of stereotypes in the works of Gustave Flaubert” (Flaubert und der Gemeinplatz. Erscheinungsformen der Stereotypie im Werk Gustave Flauberts, 1990); “Visions of a new Mexico. The cultural model, emerged from the Ateneo de la Juventud, in the context of the Mexican search of self: an analysis based on identity theory”  (Visionen eines neuen Mexiko. Das aus dem Ateneo de la Juventud hervorgegangene Kulturmodell im Kontext der mexikanischen Selbstsuche: eine identitätstheoretische Analyse, 2000). (Ed), “Literary encounters. Romance studies of cultural identity, difference and alterity” (Literarische Begegnungen. Romanistische Studien zur kulturellen Identität, Differenz und Alterität, 2002). (Ed with Guido Rings), “World of pictures – world of text – world of comics” (Bilderwelten – Textwelten – Comicwelten, 2007).

Currently, he is working on the edition of the anthology “Mexico 2010: 200 years of independence – a 100 years since the Mexican Revolution. Culture on the move – myths under the microscope” (México 2010: 200 Jahre Unabhängigkeit – 100 Jahre Mexikanische Revolution. Kultur in Bewegung – Mythen auf dem Prüfstand.) The publication of the critical edition of the Journal d’un voyageur pendant la guerre, the diary of George Sand at the time of the Franco-German war in 1870/71, is planned for 2012.

 

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the Mexican Declaration of Independence in 1821, this article aims to examine the extent to which political and social processes, the gradual emergence of a public space and the increasingly dynamic development of the press interacted in the run-up to this event. The study reveals that in the course of the formation of a public opinion in the sense of Habermas, many periodicals saw themselves as instruments of resistance against Spanish rule. It becomes clear that the struggle for freedom of the press was a particularly important concern of editors and publishers, as was their involvement in nation-building. During this process, a number of national myths emerged that were intended to help mask the massive socio-political aporias and social dislocations. The article also reveals that even before 1821 a struggle for leadership in opinion-building between conservative and liberal periodicals had begun, in which Iturbide wanted to intervene by bringing the press into line. But this measure also contributed to his eventual failure, because the censorship ordered by Iturbide and the attempts to prevent the development of a polyphonically structured press landscape did not meet with the approval of the Mexican public. His political opponents, it becomes clear, were thus offered another argument for his removal.

Con motivo del bicentenario de la Declaración de Independencia de México en 1821, este artículo pretende examinar en qué medida los procesos políticos y sociales, el progresivo establecimiento de una esfera pública y el desarrollo cada vez más dinámico de la prensa interactuaron en el periodo previo a este acontecimiento. La investigación revela que en el curso de la formación de una “opinión pública” en el sentido de Habermas, muchas publicaciones periódicas se consideraron a sí mismas como instrumentos de resistencia contra el dominio español. Queda claro que la lucha por la libertad de prensa era una preocupación especialmente importante para los editores y directores de estas publicaciones, tal como su compromiso con el nation-building mexicano.  Durante este proceso, surgieron en los periódicos una serie de mitos nacionales que pretendían ayudar a enmascarar las grandes aporías sociopolíticas y las discordias sociales. El artículo también expone que ya antes de 1821 se había iniciado una lucha por el liderazgo de opinión entre las publicaciones periódicas conservadoras y liberales, en la que Iturbide trató de intervenir por el control político de la prensa. No obstante esta medida también contribuyó a su fracaso, pues la censura ordenada por Iturbide y los intentos de impedir el desarrollo de un paisaje de prensa polifónico no contaron con la aprobación del público mexicano. Sus oponentes políticos, se hace evidente, tenían así otro argumento para pedir su destitución.