HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF COLONIAL MEXICO

GRG 388C (Same as LAS 388.2)

CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS AND INTELLECTUAL EXCHANGE IN COLONIAL MEXICO:

This interdisciplinary seminar-course will focus on the more tangible processes of transculturation in Colonial Mexico. It includes perceptions of the “other”, both Europeans and the indigenous people; the difficulties of dialogue and different world views; the problematics of conversion and “assimilation”; resistance and identity. Art and architecture, religion, indigenous and European cartography, agro-ecological interchange, as well as scientific writings will be emphasized as media to examine and illustrate the problems of exchange, dialogue, transformation, cultural interdigitation, and synthesis, through their distinctive modes of esthetic, spiritual, ecological, and spatial articulation. Case studies from Central Mexico and el Norte serve to elucidate socio-cultural and ecological change.

  1. The Mediterranean and Mesoamerican worlds before 1492 as distinct historical contexts
  2. Spanish Colonial policy: Antecedents, evolution, and the Law of the Indies
  3. Contrasting world views and the ambiguities of conversion
  4. Colonial towns and urban planning: Context, institutions, function, society
  5. Co-opting indigenous administrative structures and lands
  6. Demographic collapse and biological change
  7. Indigenous and Spanish cartographies
  8. Indigenous medicinal skills
  9. Agrobiological exchange: Towards a new ecology
  10. The mining centers and the world economy
  11. Spaniards and Tlaxcalans settle and compete in the north
  12. The Indian Baroque