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Week 3: Cross-cultural Art and Material Culture

Essential Reading weepingvirgin (choose two)

  • Alessandra Russo, ‘A Contemporary Art from New Spain,’ in Russo, Wolf, Fane (eds.), Images Take Flight: Feather Art in Mexico and Europe, 1400-1700, (Florence, 2015), 22-63
  • Jeanette Favrot Peterson, The Paradise Garden Murals of Malinalco: Utopia and Empire in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Austin, 1993). Introduction, pp. 1-11
  • Barbara Mundy, The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas (Chicago, 1996). Chapter 5: ‘The Native Mapping Tradition in the Colonial Period.’
  • Alessandra Russo, 'Plumes of Sacrifice: Transformations in Sixteenth-Century Mexican Feather Art', RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 42 (2002), pp. 226-250.
Seminar questions

- Indigenous, European, Hybrid? How do we approach the artistic and material production of the early Colonial world? Focusing on this particular period – considering the cultural and social context that framed production, innovation, and exchange in the 16th century – what challenges do we face in the examination of images/objects as historical sources?

- In the introduction to Writing Material Culture History, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello write: ‘There are, generally speaking, three ways in which material culture has enriched history. Firstly, by complementing other sources: the understanding of the written and visual sources of the past has been strengthened by including the material legacy of that same past. Secondly, by making historians ask new questions: by including objects, the study of emulation, for example, is no longer a mere concept, but is understood as a series of material practices based on the production and consumption of goods. Thirdly, by leading historians to new themes: by using objects, historians have begun to explore new areas of enquiry ranging from how people dressed in the past, their emotions, their taste and even the ways in which they related to the imagined and real world that surrounded them.

Consider these three points in relation to the history and historiography of Colonial Latin America. How has the material turn enriched our understanding of the early Colonial world? What new themes, questions, lines of inquiry emerged from this shift?

Further Reading
  • Barbara Mundy, The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geográficas (Chicago, 1996). Chapter 5: ‘The Native Mapping Tradition in the Colonial Period.’
  • Elena Phipps, “Cumbi to Tapestry: Collection, Innovation, and Transformation of the Colonial Andean Tapestry Tradition,” in The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530-1830, E. Phipps, J. Hecht, C. Esteras Martín, and L. E. Alcalá, eds. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004), pp. 72-99
  • Luis de Sousa Rebelo, “The Expansion and the Arts: Transfers, Contaminations, Innovations,’ in Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo de Curto (eds.), Portuguese Oceanic Expansion(Cambridge, 2007), pp. 390-459
  • Stefan Hanß, 'Material Encounters: Knotting Cultures in Early Modern Peru and Spain', Historical Journal (2019): 1–33.
  • Carolyn Dean and Dana Leibsohn, 'Hybridity and its Discontents: Considering Visual Culture in Colonial Spanish America', Colonial Latin American Review,
    12: 1 (2003), pp. 5-35.
  • Gauvin Bailey, Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America, 1542-1773(Toronto, 1999)
  • Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1581(Albuquerque, 2008). Chapter 1: Architecture andSculpture at the Missions
  • Thomas Kaufmann, ‘Islam, Art, and Architecture in the Americas: Some Considerations of Colonial Latin America,’ RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics43, Islamic Arts (Spring, 2003), pp. 42-50
  • Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind: The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization(New York, 2002). Chapter 11: Colonizing Heaven and 12: Sibylline Grotto
  • Jaime Lara, Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico (Notre Dame, 2008)
  • Carolyn Dean and Dana Leibsohn, ‘Scorned Subjects in Colonial Objects,’ The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief13: 4 (2017), pp. 414-436.
  • A. Brading, Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries(Cambridge, 2002). Chapter 1: Image and Typology.