ANT 324L • Colonial Latin America
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course will focus on the Spanish colonies in Latin America, developing three general topics during the course of the semester: 1) how the daily lives of colonizers, indigenous people, and African slaves engaged with imperial power; 2) religious conversion and its symbolic and social consequences; 3) agricultural and craft production in the colonial period; and 4) the methodological importance of combining material and historical evidence in studying the past. We will begin by considering issues of time, processes, structures, and events in colonial historiography. We will continue with an overview of some of the many different people and places of the Spanish empire, including European colonizers, Africans, and indigenous peoples in Mexico and Central America, the Andes, and the Caribbean. We will then study colonial Latin America, developing the three key issues listed above by drawing insights from a variety of sources, including historical documents, chronicles, architectural history, art history, and archaeological studies of material culture and settlement patterns. Rather than focusing on Latin America as a unitary or homogeneous culture, we will study different regions and sites to learn from the variation encountered within the Spanish empire in what we know today as Latin America. This is an archaeology course; therefore, students should be prepared to engage with readings in archaeology, and students should draw upon archaeological as well as historical evidence in class discussion and exams. No previous experience in archaeology is required, and students who are not archaeology majors or who have never taken a course in archaeology are certainly encouraged to join the class. This class will increase literacy in archaeology for non-archaeology majors and it will help students understand how to combine archaeological and historical evidence in the study of the past.