Vai alla Homepage del Portale di Ateneo Curriculum Global cultures Second cycle degree/Two year Master in History and Oriental Studies


David Tavarez (Vassar College)

from 15 October 2018 at 17:00 to 18 October 2018 at 18:45

Aula SPECOLA – Piazza San Giovanni in Monte, 2 – Bologna, Italy

Along with the military and economic European domination of the Americas came attempts to destroy, modify, or embrace the most fundamental ideas that indigenous people held about their cosmology, calendars, and religious practices. With a focus on Mesoamerica, this course addresses multiple intellectual, transatlantic exchanges between indigenous peoples and Europeans in three domains: the translation of Christian beliefs into indigenous words and concepts, ecclesiastic and civil attempts to eradicate what was regarded as indigenous "idolatry," and the remaking of calendars and time-keeping systems under colonial rule. These multiple, interweaving projects are analyzed not only as colonial disciplinary projects, but also as long-term intellectual exchanges and negotiations, with a focus on the various roles played by indigenous scholars, ritual specialists, and elites.

Session 1: Rethinking time and calendars in colonial Central Mexico

Hassig, Ross. 2001. Time, History and Belief in Aztec and Colonial Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press. Ch. 1 (1-28)

Calnek, Edward. 2007. “Kirchhoff's Correlations and the Third Part of the Codex Borbonicus." In Skywatching in the Ancient World: New Perspectives in Cultural Astronomy Studies in Honor of Anthony F. Aveni, ed. Clive Ruggles and Gary Urton, 83-94. Niwot: University Press of Colorado.

Session 2: Conquering souls and translating Christianity

Burkhart, Louise. 1992. "The Amanuenses Have Appropriated the Text: Interpreting a Nahuatl Song of Santiago.” In On the Translation of Native American Literatures, ed. Brian Swann, 339-355. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Tavárez, David. 2017. "Performing the Zaachila Word: The Dominican Invention of Zapotec Christianity." In Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Latin America, ed. D. Tavárez (only 29-53). Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

Session 3: Nahua humanism and indigenous intellectuals

Schroeder, Susan. 2007. “The Annals of Chimalpahin.” In Sources and Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, ed. James Lockhart, Lisa Sousa, and Stephanie Wood, 1-11.

Pollnitz, Aysha. 2017. “Old Words and the New World: Liberal Education and the Franciscans in New Spain.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 27 (read only 123-143, 151-152)

Session 4: Exemplary punishments: the "invisible wars" against indigenous devotions

Gruzinski, Serge. 1989. "Andrés Mixcoatl – 1537." In Man-Gods in the Mexican Highlands, (read only 31-46). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Tavárez, David. 2011. The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Selection, Ch. 5 (read only 124-151).

Chuchiak, John F. 2001. “Pre-Conquest Ah Kinob in a Colonial World: The Extirpation of Idolatry and the Survival of the Maya Priesthood in Colonial Yucatán, 1563–1697." In Maya Survivalism, Acta Mesoamericana 12, ed. Ueli Hostettler and Matthew Restall (read only 135-151). Markt Schwaben: Verlag Anton Saurwein.

Optional readings (not required):

Diel, Lori Boornazian. 2016. "The Codex Mexicanus: Time, Religion, History, and Health in Sixteenth-Century New Spain." The Americas 73(4): 427-58.

Laird, Andrew. 2017. “A Mirror for Mexican Princes: Reconsidering the Context and Latin Source for the Nahuatl translation of Aesop's Fables." In Brief Forms in Medieval and Renaissance Hispanic Literature , ed. Barry Taylor and Alejandro Coroleu, 132-167. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Smith-Stark, Thomas. 2009. "Lexicography in New Spain (1492-1611)." In Missionary Linguistics IV, ed. Otto Zwartjes, Ramón Arzápalo, and Thomas Smith Stark, 3-82. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Sparks, Garry. 2014. “The Use of Mayan Scripture in the Americas’ First Christian Theology.” Numen 61(4): 396–429.

Urcid, Javier. 2018. "Ritual and Society in Ancient Central Oaxaca (350–850 CE)." In Really Fake? The Story of a Zapotec Urn, ed. Justin Jennings and Adam Sellen. Ontario: Royal Ontario Museum.