week 6: who conquered whom?

In the 1520s and 1530s, the Spanish Empire expanded to cover much of Central and South America. At the time, Spaniards and their native allies both imagined themselves as conquering the controlling empires of Mesoamerica and the Andes. Who, then, conquered whom? In the early 16th century, did native allies with the Spanish imagine themselves as collaborators in European domination? If not, what did they imagine they were doing?

September 24 (Tuesday) – Conquest Myths and Realities

  • 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.

  • For a fantastic graphic novel approach to telling this story, check out the five episodes so far written and drawn at Aztec Empire. This graphic novel version of the Conquest works hard to be faithful to the visual world and recent historical scholarship on Cortes’s march from the sea.

September 26 (Thursday) – Conquest Myths and Realities, continued.

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