Topics in Colonial Studies

HISP-S659 — Spring 2022

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Kathleen Myers
BH 135
Days and Times
T 4:55P-7:25P
Course Description

VT: Colonialism and Spatial Studies: Early Modern Conquest and Contemporary Mexico 

Drawing on the critical field of spatial studies, this course will explore how the Spanish empire employed spatial practices in what is now Mexico to establish a colonialism that would continue to influence both spatial and racial systems for centuries to come. Beginning with Spanish accounts of the conquest (Cortés, Bernal Díaz) and indigenous codices about the pre-Hispanic past and later colonization (Sahagún, Mendoza, Tlaxcala), we will trace the emergence of this space/race/colonial triad. We will pay particular attention to how a dichotomy between urban and rural planning and place making become integral to the categorization of inhabitants as “indio,” “criollo,” “mestizo,” etc. We will then examine how this colonial legacy informs practices throughout the nation building period and well into the 20th -21st centuries as it became fundamental to the formulation of modernity. We will read canonical texts (José Vasconcelos, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo, Elena Garro, Rosario Castellanos, and José Emilio Pacheco) and view films by Luis Buñuel, John Steinbeck, and Alfonso Cuarón. In addition to theoretical readings in spatial and colonial studies (for example, Doreen Massey, Santa Arias, Achille Mbembe, Aníbal Quijano, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Walter Mignolo, Daniel Nesmer), we will also hear from interdisciplinary guest speakers (History and Archeology/Anthropology) and apply our methodologies to archival work on the new Arroyo Collection recently acquired by the IUB Libraries. Students will be encouraged to apply the critical tools acquired in this course to their own research projects and areas of study.

HISP-S 659     #31868         4:55P-7:25P        T         BH 135        Prof. Kathleen Myers

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