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Colonialism

Gabriela Ramos

Latin America’s history is fundamentally marked by colonialism. In current political debates the term is continually mentioned, but its historicity is often far less explored and understood. In this session we study key aspects of the history of colonialism as thought and practice through three moments and forms: first, through a [partial] analysis of Juan de Solórzano Pereira’s thought.[1] Second, by examining one of the most effective ways in which colonialism became effective and durable: through its interaction with and appropriation by, the colonized, thus giving rise to institutions, social and political practices, and imaginaries. Finally, by approaching a contemporary text, we examine the validity of the concept of colonialism in its [umpteenth] encounter with the past, the dreams and nightmares of progress and the idea of ​​the salvation of Latin America.

Required reading

  • Muldoon, James. “To civilize the Barbarian. The anthropology and the history.” In: The Americas in the Spanish world order: The justification for conquest in the seventeenth century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, pp.38-65. (Moodle)
  • Puente, José Carlos de la. “Khipus, community, and the pursuit of justice in sixteenth-century Peru.” In: Andean cosmopolitans seeking justice and reward at the Spanish royal court. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018, pp. 20-50. (Moodle)
  • Vargas Llosa, Mario. “Questions of conquest: What Columbus wrought, and what he did not.” Harper’s Magazine, Dec. 1990, pp. 45-53.

Further reading

  • Cañeque, Alejandro. “The Political and Institutional History of Colonial Spanish America.” History Compass 11/4 (2013): 280-291.
  • Hering, Max S., María Elena Martínez, David Nirenberg, eds. Race and Blood in the Iberian World. Berlin and Vienna: Lit Verlag, 2012.
  • Martínez, María Elena. Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de sangre, religion and gender in colonial Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  • Muldoon, James. Popes, Lawyers, and Infidels: The Church and the Non-Christian World, 1250-1550. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1979.
  • Mumford, Jeremy. Vertical Empire: The General Resettlement of Indians in the Colonial Andes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.
  • Owensby, Brian. Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.
  • Quijano, Aníbal. Colonialidad del poder, eurocentrismo y América Latina. En: La colonialidad del saber: eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales. Perspectivas latinoamericanas. Edgardo Lander (comp.) CLACSO. Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Julio de 2000.  p. 246. 
  • Ramos, Gabriela and Yanna Yannakakis, eds. Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture in Mexico and the Andes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.
  • Ruiz Medrano, Ethelia and Susan Kellogg, eds. Negotiation within Domination: New Spain’s Indian Pueblos Confront the Spanish State. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2010.
  • Ramos, Gabriela. “El rastro de la discriminación. Litigios y probanzas de caciques en el Perú colonial temprano.” Fronteras de la historia, 2016, vol. 21, n.1, pp.64-88.
  • Taussig, Michael. Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

  • [1]  Juan de Solórzano Pereira (1575-1655) was the most important theorist of Spanish colonialism.