HST6043: Burying the White Gods: Indigenous People in the Early Modern Colonial World
15 credits (semester 1)
Module Leader: Dr. Caroline Pennock
Since the rise of postcolonialism, scholars have fought to reconstruct the complexity and significance of indigenous communities and to remove them from an imperial framework which casts them as passive victims of historical events. In the early American world, this greater sensitivity to indigenous agendas and actions has led increasingly to meetings between indigenous Americans and Europeans being explained in terms of encounter, negotiation and accommodation, rather than simple conquest. Focusing on colonial Central and South America, this module seeks to illuminate the places and perspectives of indigenous people in colonial history and historiography.
This module aims to examine the place of indigenous peoples in both colonial history and historiography. You will not only study the diverse roles and responses of indigenous people in imperial contexts but also examine the historiographical shifts and contemporary controversies which have so significantly affected the vision of indigenous history in recent years. Taking Spanish America as a model, this module seeks to illuminate the wider theoretical and methodological issues shaping indigenous histories in imperial contexts.
The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes, each focusing on a key theme.
Through structured reading, presentation and debate, you will engage with key texts from the burgeoning primary and secondary literature in this field, ranging from postcolonial theory to indigenous pictographic records. You will be encouraged to relate the American case study to broader themes of colonial, indigenous and subaltern history. Students will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module.
You will prepare a paper (of not more than 3000 words) exploring one of the key themes of the module in a colonial context of your choice. You will have individual tutorial contact with the module tutor in order to discuss your written work for this module and you are encouraged to approach the tutor for guidance in choosing and shaping your topic.
Intended Learning Outcomes