Becoming a Spanish Indian: Lessons in Latinidad from a Colonial Text
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
4:00 pm — 5:30 pm
4116: LAILAC Student Lounge
Open to the Public
Co-sponsored by the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures Ph.D Program and the Comparative Literature Ph.D. Program; The Latinx Past: Archive, Memory, Speculation a faculty working group of the Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative.
Registration not required.
Reaching from the late seventeenth century to our present moment, this talk provincializes the Anglo Puritan settler and foundational author Cotton Mather by telling the origin story of his Spanish-language tract, La Fe del Christiano. Highlighting Mather’s indebtedness to José de Acosta and other Catholic missiologists, it explores the conditions of his language learning process and the significance of the presence of so-called “Spanish Indian” bondservants in his household. Nascent ideas about race, ethnicity, and indigeneity were linked to language use during this period in ways that remain important to questions of Latinx/e/a/o belonging in the U.S. today.
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