By Marcus Golding Latin American popular culture presents two common tropes about Spanish colonial rule. One is the representation of viceroys as autocrats who ruled without any institutional constraint. This perception “explains” the authoritarian tendencies of Latin American societies in the postcolonial period. The other trope ironically undermines perceptions of authoritarian control by highlighting the […]
By Abisai Pérez Zamarripa This collective book is about the role of Indian thinkers as actors who preserved pre-Columbian knowledge within the new social order and recreated it to enforce or contest Spanish imperial rule. The book editors integrated several essays of top historians that explain how indigenous intellectuals in the colonial Andes and Mexico were important for […]
by Brittany Erwin In this study of the social significance of material culture in Mexico City and Xaltocan in the early colonial period, Rodriguez Alegría uses a variety of sources, including archaeological evidence relating to food consumption, catalogues of ceramic sherds from several dig sites in these cities, and wills, stock lists, and auction records. […]
by Justin Heath “A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners…all howl(ed) in a barbarous tongue…riding down upon (the posse) […]
by Haley Schroer By focusing on the relationship between race and physical space, Nemser analyzes colonial concepts of race through an unexpected and innovative lens. His investigation of concrete structures and their effect on the creation of Mexico’s caste society spans the Spanish colonial period, from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Examining the dynamic […]
By Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra How can the life of an artisan who specialized in punchcutting and engraving help us shed light on “the idea of the Spanish Enlightenment”? Donahue-Wallace offers an illuminating perspective on the Enlightenment through the biography of an expert medal caster, Jerónimo Antonio Gil, whose career took him from provincial Zamora to Madrid […]
By Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra Andrew Torget’s Seeds of Empire places the early history of nineteenth-century Texas squarely within the political economy of slavery, cotton, and geopolitics. Torget shows that Spanish Texas had become an utterly dysfunctional polity. A royalist bloody response to the creation of autonomous creole juntas almost led to the annihilation of the Tejano […]
Sometime in 1737, a Catholic priest climbed into a canoe to save his parishioners’ souls. The cleric in question, Bernardino Pablo López de Escovedo, was a humble vicario—a parish priest’s assistant—working in a parish called Xaltocan, north of Mexico City. Xaltocan’s head priest had fallen ill and abandoned his post, leaving López de Escovedo to handle the parish on his own.