Week 1: Introduction

August 23 (Thursday)


  • Syllabus

Week 2: Early America I

August 28 (Tuesday) – Charting the Earliest Migrations


  • Mann, Charles C. “1491” The Atlantic Monthly (March 2002).
  • Stix, Gary. “The Migration History of Humans: DNA Study Traces Human Origins across the Continents.” Scientific American Magazine (July 2008).

August 30 (Thursday) – Maya


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 1.
  • Thompson, J. Eric. “The Meaning of Maize for the Maya.” in Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson, eds., The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), pp. 86-91.
  • Anonymous. “The Popul Vuh.” In Joseph and Henderson, eds., The Mexico Reader, pp. 79-85.

Week 3: Early America II

September 4 (Tuesday) – Mexica


  • Inga Clendinnen, “The Costs of Courage in Aztec society,” pp. 61-78 in The Mexico Reader.

  • Burkhardt, Louise M. “Mexica Women on the Home Front: Housework and Religion in Aztec Mexico” in Schroeder, Susan et al. Indian Women of Early Mexico, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), pp. 25-54.

September 6 (Thursday) – Inka


  • Murra, John. “Cloth, Textile, and the Inca Empire,” in Starn, et. al. eds., The Peru Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995): 55-69.

  • Mary Strong, Art, Nature, and Religion in the Central Andes (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2012): pp. 17-58.

Week 4: Old World Antecedents

September 11 (Tuesday) – Castile and Portugal


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 2.

  • “Las Siete Partidas: Laws on Jews.”

  • “King Ferdinand, Marriage Concessions (1469)” in Jon Cowans, ed. Early Modern Spain: A Documentary History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003): 7-9.

  • “Surrender Treaty of the Kingdom of Granada (1491)” in Cowans, Early Modern Spain: 15-19.

  • “Decree of Expulsion of the Jews (1492)” in Cowans, Early Modern Spain: 20-23.

September 13 (Thursday) – Atlantic Africa


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 3.

Week 5: The Early Encounter

September 18 (Tuesday) – Caribbean Conquest


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 4.

  • Christopher Columbus’s Log, excerpted in English. Focus on period after Oct. 11.

  • The Requerimiento

September 20 (Thursday) – The Critique


  • Bartolomé de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies, excerpt.

  • Antonio Montesinos, “Advent Sermon”

  • “The Relación of Fray Ramón Pane (c. 1494-1496)”

  • “The Laws of Burgos. 1512-1513”

Week 6: Conquest of Native Empires

September 25 (Tuesday) – Conquest Myths and Realities I


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 5.

  • Matthew Restall, et. al., Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge: 2005): Chapter 3.

  • “The Spaniards’ Entry into Tenochtitlan,” The Mexico Reader, 97-104.

September 27 (Thursday) – Conquest Myths and Realities II


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 6-7.

  • Patricia Seed, “Failing to Marvel: Atahualpa’s Encounter with the Word,” Latin American Research Review 26.1 (1991): 7-32.

Week 7: Exam

October 2 (Tuesday)


  • Exam review sheet.

October 4 (Thursday)


Week 8: La Otra Conquista

October 9 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 10.

  • “Orders Given to the Twelve (1523)” in Mills, Taylor, and Graham Colonial Latin America: A Documentary History,” (SR Books, 2004): 59-64.

October 11 (Thursday)


  • J. Michael Francis. “In the Service of God, I Order these Temples of Idolatrous Worship Razed to the Ground”: Extirpation of Idolatry and the Search for the Santuario Grande of Iguaque (Columbia, 1595)” in Colonial Lives, pp. 39-53.

Week 9: From Cataclysm to Order

October 16 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 8.

  • Suzanne Alchon, “Colonialism, Disease, and the Spanish Conquest of the Carribbean, Mesoamerica, and the Central Andes,” in A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective (Univ. of NM Press, 2003): 60-82.

October 18 (Thursday)


  • “The New Laws”

J.L Phelan, “Authority and Flexibility in the Spanish Imperial Bureaucracy” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 1, Special Issue on Comparative Public Administration. (Jun., 1960), pp. 47-65.

Week 10: Enslaved and Free Africans

October 23 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 9.

  • Kris Lane, “Captivity and Redemption: Aspects of Slave Life in early Colonial Quito and Popoyan,” The Americas 57.2 (2000), 225-246.

October 25 (Thursday)


  • Jane Landers, “Felipe Edimboro Sues for Manumission, Don Francisco Xavier Sánchez contests (Florida, 1794),” in Colonial Lives, pp. 249-268.

Week 11: Labor and Tribute

October 30 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 12.

  • Ward Stavig, The World of Túpac Amaru, Ch. 6.

November 1 (Thursday)


  • Woodrow Borah, “The Indians of Tejupan Want to Raise Silk on Their Own,” Colonial Lives, 6-10.

Week 12: No class! I will be in London for a conference.

November 6 (Tuesday)

November 8 (Thursday)

Week 13: Gender and Sexuality

November 13 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 11.

  • Patricia Seed, “Marriage Promises and the Value of a Woman’s Testimony in Colonial Mexico,” Signs 13.2 (Winter, 1988): 146-152.

November 15 (Thursday)


  • Ruth Behar, “Sexual Witchcraft, Colonialism, and Women’s Powers,” in Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial Latin America. Lavrin, ed. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1992.

  • Richard Boyer, “Catarina María Complains that Juan Teoia Forcibly Deflowered Her (Mexico, 1693)” in Colonial Lives: 155-165.

Week 14: From Kingdom to Colony

November 20 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 13.

  • “José de Gálvez’s Decrees for the King’s Subjects in Mexico (1769, 1778)” in Mills, et. al., Colonial Latin America, pp. 270-273.

November 22 (Thursday)


None! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Week 15: Late Colonial Rebellions

November 27 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 14.

  • Elizabeth Penry, “Letters of Insurrection: The Rebellion of the Communities (Charcas, 1781)” in Colonial Lives: 201-215.

November 29 (Thursday)


  • David T. Garrett, “His Majesty’s Most Loyal Vassals”: The Indian Nobility and Túpac Amaru,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 84:4 (2004): 575-617. (Available through the library website.)

Week 16: Independence

December 4 (Tuesday)


  • Restall and Lane, Chapter 15.

Exam, December 11th (Tuesday) 8:00-10:00 am