¿De quién es la patria? (To whom does the fatherland belong?) is a question that has always underlain nation-building projects, and it is the core issue that rhetorician Christa Olson interrogates in her study of indigeneity and the creation of national identities in postindependence Ecuador. Olson maintains that all national identities and all nationalisms are at their base rhetorical. Rhetorical statements emerge not only through the political and intellectual creations of government officials and the dominant culture but also through common actions and interactions in daily life. In order to understand the creation of national identities, Olson examines both the official and private realms and both mundane and extraordinary discourses. In analyzing the rhetoric of these discourses, Olson challenges an assumption that “everyday” and “elite” are opposing concepts, “as if elites did not have an everyday and subalterns never stepped outside of...

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