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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Journeys to Others and Lessons of Self: Carlos Castaneda in Camposcape

  • Author(s): Sluis, Ageeth
  • et al.

Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia, this article examines the importance of place and gender within constructions of race politics in Carlos Castaneda’s series on shamanism. Championing a “separate reality” predicated on an indigenous worldview, Castaneda’s lessons invited transnational middle-class youth to "journey" alongside him to camposcape—an anachronistic and idealized countryside—as a means to escape the bourgeois values of their homelands and find spiritual fulfillment in a timeless and "authentic" Mexico. Castaneda’s work proposed new viable spaces of difference in Mexico, yet inscribed these spaces with a masculinist discourse that served to neutralize the gender trouble within the counterculture movement in both Mexico and the US.

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