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Europeans and Indians in Early Colonial America: Ethnic Encounters and Representations of Race (HI952 - Withdrawn)

 

This module has now been permanently withdrawn and is no longer taught in the Warwick History Department.

Context of Module
Module Aims
Intended Learning Outcomes
Outline Syllabus
Illustrative Bibliography
Assessment
 
 
Context of Module

This module may be taken by students on the MA in History, the MA in Modern History, the MA in the History of Race in the Americas, or any taught Master's student outside the History Department.

 

Module Aims

To examine the cultural and social implications of the encounter between Europeans and American indigenous peoples during the period of Spanish conquest and early colonisation, focusing on Spanish perceptions and treatment of native peoples, contemporary concepts of human difference, missionary ideology, and the role of Church and State in the formation of state policy towards native peoples.

 

Intended Learning Outcomes

The intellectual purpose of this module is to analyse the historical roots of European concepts of 'race', to introduce the conceptual framework which informed early debates about the nature of 'Indians', and to provide opportunities to reflect upon both contemporary writing about native peoples and recent historical readings of such literature. In pursuit of this purpose, students will engage in developing skills of research, analysis and debate through the media of seminar discussions and presentations, and the independent preparation and writing of a 5,000 word essays. The essay will provide students with the chance to choose and frame a topic worthy of analysis in the light of the advanced literature in the relevant area of study; to construct their own bibliographies from books, articles and websites; to gather evidence and use it to shape a cogent and coherent extended analytical discussion; and where appropriate to deploy evidence from primary sources

 

Outline Syllabus

Seminar 1: First Sightings: Columbus and the 'marvellous'

Seminar 2: First Images: The Indian as Angel and Devil

Seminar 3: The Debate about Cannibalism

Seminar 4: 'Fatal Impact': Las Casas and the attack on genocide

Seminar 5: Aristotle and the American Indian: The Natural Slavery Debate

Seminar 6: Franciscan Millenarianism and Indian Evangelisation:The 'Spiritual Conquest' of Mexico

Seminar 7: Histories of Indians: The Indian in early European Histories

Seminar 8: Indian Histories: Native Cultural Responses

 

Illustrative Bibliography

Christopher Columbus, (trans & ed. P. Cohen) The Four Voyages

Hernán Cortés(trans & ed. A. Pagden), Letters from Mexico

Stephen Greenblatt, Marvellous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World

Tzevtan Todorov, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other

John L. Phelan, The Millenial Kingdom of the Franciscans

Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology

Anthony Pagden, European Encounters with the New World

Hugh Honour, This New Golden Land

Serge Gruzinski, The Conquest of Mexico: The Incorporation of Indian Societies in the Western World, 1600-1800

 

Assessment

1 assessed essay of 5,000 words: the course is taught in weekly 2-hour seminars.

MODULE HANDBOOK