Nature, Science, and Empire in Early Latin America|
Spring 2021 not offered
This seminar will introduce students to a diversity of scientific practices that flourished in the Hispanic World between 1400 and 1800. We will begin by analyzing how a debate known as the "polemic of Spanish Science," together with the Black Legend conditioned the ways in which colonial Latin American science was traditionally approached. From available studies we will then survey some of the significant contributions to botany, astronomy, medicine, and metallurgy of Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations. From there we will read an array of primary and secondary sources in order to reconstruct the varied, and often eclectic knowledge gathering and knowledge making practices that missionaries, humanists, and crown-officials devised to understand the natural world. We will pay close attention to their particular goals and methods and the manner in which they were influenced by the encounter with foreign peoples, the dynamics of conquest and colonization, the movement of books and commodities, and institutions of censorship and patronage.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CBST-MN)(HIST-MN)(HIST)(LAST)
José de Acosta, NATURAL AND MORAL HISTORY OF THE INDIES
Alonso Barba, THE ART OF METALS OF 1640
Daniela Bleichmar, VISIBLE EMPIRE
Vera Candiani, DREAMING OF DRY LAND: ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSFORMATION IN COLONIAL MEXICO CITY
Constance Classen, INCA COSMOLOGY AND THE HUMAN BODY
Christopher Columbus, THE FOUR VOYAGES
Martín de la Cruz, THE DE LA CRUZ BADIANO AZTEC HERBAL OF 1552
Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, NATURAL HISTORY OF THE WEST INDIES
Alfredo López-Austin, THE HUMAN BODY AND IDEOLOGY: CONCEPTS OF THE ANCIENT NAHUAS
Bernardino de Sahagún, FLORENTINE CODEX 1577
María Portuondo, SECRET SCIENCE: SPANISH COSMOGRAPHY AND THE NEW WORLD
Nicolás Wey Gómez, THE TROPICS OF EMPIRE: WHY COLUMBUS SAILED SOUTH TO THE INDIES
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Three one-page response papers will be due throughout the course of the semester. Assignments include: two short paper (4-5 pages) and a final paper (10-12 pages) that will require some independent research. Students will share their paper research with the class in a final presentation.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
All readings will be available on the course site.
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