Dialogue with Europe, Dialogue with the Past

Colonial Nahua and Quechua Elites in Their Own Words

edited by Justyna Olko, John Sullivan, and Jan Szemiński

“This work provides new contributions and insights . . . the illustrative and comparative examination of documents from Mesoamerica and the Andes is refreshing and important. The analytical comparison between Central Mexico and the Andes is the work’s greatest and most novel contribution.”
—Mark Christensen, Assumption College

"A meaningful collection . . . very strong, well-­reasoned and convincing."
—John Schwaller, University at Albany, State University of New York

Dialogue with Europe, Dialogue with the Past is a critical, annotated anthology of indigenous-authored texts, including the Nahua, Quechua, and Spanish originals, through which native peoples and Spaniards were able to convey their own perspectives on Spanish colonial order. It is the first volume to bring together native testimonies from two different areas of Spanish expansion in the Americas to examine comparatively these geographically and culturally distant realities of indigenous elites in the colonial period.

In each chapter a particular document is transcribed exactly as it appears in the original manuscript or colonial printed document, with the editor placing it in historical context and considering the degree of European influence. These texts show the nobility through documents they themselves produced or caused to be produced—such as wills, land deeds, and petitions—and prioritize indigenous ways of expression, perspectives, and concepts. Together, the chapters demonstrate that native elites were independent actors as well as agents of social change and indigenous sustainability in colonial society. Additionally, the volume diversifies the commonly homogenous term “cacique” and recognizes the differences in elites throughout Mesoamerica and the Andes.

Showcasing important and varied colonial genres of indigenous writing, Dialogue with Europe, Dialogue with the Past reveals some of the realities, needs, strategies, behaviors, and attitudes associated with the lives of the elites. Each document and its accompanying commentary provide additional insight into how the nobility negotiated everyday life. The book will be of great interest to students and researchers of Mesoamerican and Andean history, as well as those interested in indigenous colonial societies in the Spanish Empire.

Contributors: Agnieszka Brylak, Maria Castañeda de la Paz, Katarzyna Granicka, Gregory Haimovich, Anastasia Kalyuta, Julia Madajczak, Patrycja Prządka-Giersz

Justyna Olko is a professor at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw and director of its Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity. She specializes in Nahua ethnohistory, anthropology, and linguistics as well as cross-cultural transfer between indigenous and European worlds.

John Sullivan is professor of Nahua language and culture at the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, visiting professor at the University of Warsaw’s Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity, and director of the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas, A.C. He is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and works with indigenous students monolingually on teaching, research, and revitalization projects.

Jan Szemiński is professor emeritus at the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Faculty of Humanities, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is an ethnohistorian interested in Inca ethnohistory, oral tradition, and Quechua language as a historical source in the sixth- to eighteenth-century central Andes.

Imprint: University Press of Colorado

Book Details

  • Hardcover Price: $114.00
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-832-2
  • Paperback Price: $41.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-833-9
  • Ebook Price: $34.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $17.50
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-834-6
  • Publication Month: December
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Pages: 368
  • Illustrations: 3 figures
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Justyna Olko, John Sullivan, and Jan Szemiński
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-832-2