In Performance in the Zócalo, Ana Martínez focuses on Mexico City’s main square, tracing its function as a performance space from the era of Tenochtitlán to the present and analyzing its role as a forum for working out conceptions of Mexican national identity. The author calls the study “an archaeological narrative because it is through material and spatial traces that I recover the performances I analyze” (5). The study’s focus on festive performance and creation of national identity situates it within a group of recently published or forthcoming books with diverse approaches, such as B. Christine Arce’s México’s Nobodies (2017), Manuel Cuellar’s Choreographing Mexico (forthcoming), Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo’s Mexico at the World’s Fairs (2018), and Miguel A. Valerio’s Sovereign Joy (forthcoming).

Each chapter focuses on a particular performance that took place in the Zócalo’s history: (1) the 1539 festival commemorating Charles V’s Truce of...

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