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Colonial Indigenous Literacies

Caroline Egan

Set readings for this seminar study Amerindian languages and literacies in the colonial period from the disciplinary perspectives of anthropology, history, linguistics and literature. For a useful introductory reading, see ‘Cultures in contact’ by Rolena Adorno in The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature. In the seminar meeting, we will collectively examine a few primary works (including selections from Chimalpahin and Guaman Poma, listed below as suggested readings) in relation to the set texts.

For a useful introductory reading, see ‘Cultures in contact’ by Rolena Adorno in The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature. (see Moodle)

Set readings

Please bring copies to the seminar (see Moodle)

  • Angel Rama, La ciudad letrada (any edition), chapters 1-3.
  • Gabriela Ramos and Yanna Yannakakis, ‘Introduction’ in Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture in Mexico and the Andes (Durham/London: Duke UP, 2014), 1-17.
  • Joanne Rappaport and Tom Cummins, ‘The Indigenous Lettered City’ in Beyond the Lettered City: Indigenous Literacies in the Andes (Durham: Duke UP, 2012), 113-151.
  • Matthew Restall, Lisa Sousa, and Kevin Terraciano, ‘Mesoamericans and Spaniards in the Sixteenth Century’ and ‘Literacy in Colonial Mesoamerica’ in Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge: CUP, 2005), 3-20.

Suggested additional readings

  1. Rolena Adorno, ‘Cultures in contact: Mesoamerica, the Andes, and the European written tradition’ in The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature, vol. 1, eds. R. González Echevarría and E. Pupo-Walker (Cambridge: CUP, 1996), 33-57 (see Moodle)
  2. Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, Annals of His Time, eds. and trans. J. Lockhart, S. Schroeder, and D. Namala (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2006)
  3. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, eds. J.V. Murra, R. Adorno, and J.L. Urioste (Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, 1992)