SPANISH 447 - The Archive
Section: 002 The Colonial Archive and the Politics of History
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This course examines the politics of history in the context of colonial Latin America. It has two components — one theoretical, the other practical — which means that it is not only a class but also a workshop. In the first component, we will study how knowledge about the past is produced, paying special attention to the ways in which power shapes and limits the kinds of stories we can tell. In particular, we will focus the archive both as a concrete institution in which official papers are held and as a metaphor for the way we create, guard, organize, silence, and mobilize traces of the past. It is often said that “history is written by the victors.” While this claim is certainly justified, in the second component of the course we will explore how critical scholars have sought to overcome these limits and narrate other histories desde abajo (from below) with a special emphasis on colonial rebellions, riots, and uprisings. In order to do so, we will enter, virtually, the Archivo General de Indias (AGI) in Seville, Spain, the most important archive of documents from colonial Latin America in the world. A significant portion of these documents has been digitized and is available online. Students will learn to navigate the archive, develop research skills, and apply the methods and theoretical concepts they have learned to these documents, written by hand hundreds of years ago. Building on their original research in the archive, for their final project students will produce a transcription and analysis of an archival manuscript about a colonial rebellion. Colonial rebellions thus serve as a case study for students to develop a concrete understanding of the politics of history in Latin America.

This course counts as elective credit toward the Spanish minor.

SPANISH 447 - The Archive
Schedule Listing
002 (REC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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